Friday, August 27, 2010

Sabers, Tiny Feet and the 'Harvest Dress:' Kicking off Harvest, Schramsberg Style

The sun was just starting to break through the fog this morning at 10:30 when I made it up to the crushpad at Schramsberg Vineyards for their official toast to the start of Harvest 2010. Keith Hock, the sparking winemaker, had recommended that I stop by and check out their unveiling of this year's 'Harvest Dress' - a long-standing tradition whereby cellar crew (Hugh Davies, winery owner included!) is required to wear a lovely, vintage frock (read: Mumu) when a mistake is made. Just a friendly (and embarrassing-photo-opportunity-laden) way to keep everyone on their toes!

With Schramsberg being a sparkling wine house, of course the morning had to start with a little bubbly. Hugh Davies, Keith Hock and two other members of the Schramsberg crew showed off their saber skills in opening bottles to share - and I must say I was impressed! All four bottle necks broke open as if on perfect queue. (Something tells me these guys have had a little practice...) Of course, no harvest toast would be complete without a little grape stomping as well - the age 10 and under crew did a spectacular job of getting things rolling with a little old fashioned footwork.

Cheers to a great Harvest!

Julie Crafton - posting for the Napa Valley Vintners

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