Monday, October 31, 2011

Crush is 76% Complete, and It's a Happy Halloween at Peju Province Winery!

Every year for Halloween, Peju employees furtively collaborate within their respective departments to vie for the title of Costume Competition Winner at the annual Halloween Family Meal. This year, as has been the case almost every year since winemaker Sara Fowler has been at Peju, the Production Team garnered the departmental win! Their group effort in a time of such harvest hectic-ness is inspiring. Other costume creations comprised Jersey Housewives, a couple of pirates, one Zorro, one Sumo Wrestler, and owner & founder Tony Peju delighted us all with a shockingly accurate, surprise Papa Smurf performance. 

As of today, we've brought in 76% of our total crop. Sara aims to harvest all remaining fruit by this Friday. It's all fermenting, pressing & barreling down from there! 

Sheri, our Production Planner, gave me some "fun facts" today. (Visit the 'Meet the Team' page on our blog for photos and titles of everyone on the Production team.)
These are the dates on which we had brought in the last of our fruit over the past four years:
October 11, 2007
October 28, 2008
October 25, 2009
November 1, 2010

And if all goes to plan, it will be November 4 in 2011. Not bad considering we started harvest 4 weeks later this year than in 2009. And by 'not bad' I mean 'this was one logistical nightmare' with the same number of tanks as in years past and around the same amount of fruit coming in, only this year in a much more condensed period of time. Sara and Joe had to use acute foresight to plan their tank assignments and rotations, making sure to align when to bring the fruit in (dependent on nature) with how much fruit had been predicted to come in (a tough (inexact) science) with what kind of tank space would be available at that time. Who knew such a big part of wine-making could be about the logistics of coordinating ripening with fermentations with tank space.

At the Family Meal today, Sara gave us a harvest-time update:

Signing off and wishing you a Happy Halloween! It's Trick-or-Drink in many of the small towns that line the Napa Valley. Adults go door to door with plastic, portable wine glasses and greet their neighbors over splashes of delicious Napa Valley wine. It's something one hears over and over out here, and has truly been my experience: that in Napa Valley, people really know how to live. (More specifically, people prioritize enjoying life everyday. And I think this is good.)

Halloween Cheer and Cheers!

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