“Any romance about making wine disappears as bees and snakes lurk in picking bins in a cellar that reeks of smelly yeast and fermenting grapes. But trust me — I can’t think of any place I’d rather be.”
Three weeks ago, Chuck Hayward of JJ Buckley wrote those words in announcing the decision of three staffers to work harvest this fall.
While I’ve never been fond of bees or snakes, I’ve long looked forward to one day working harvest. So when Elizabeth Vianna of Chimney Rock Winery reached out to see if I’d be interested in doing a one-week harvest immersion with the Stags Leap District Winegrowers this year, I jumped at the opportunity.
Will I reach the same conclusion as Chuck Hayward — and take pleasure in the work, knowing that I’m playing an extremely small role in in bringing the joy and pleasure of wine to people? Or will the backbreaking, arduous labor of harvest break such notions?
Today, my immersion begins. The folks at SLDW sure plan on keeping me busy. Over the next week, I’ll be working 12-hour days at 13 area wineries:
Chimney Rock Winery
Clos Du Val
Cliff Lede Vineyards
Baldacci Family Vineyards
Taylor Family Vineyards
Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars
Malk Family Vineyards
Stags’ Leap Winery
Odette Estate Winery
Terlato Family Vineyards
Be sure to keep an eye on the blog (and follow us on Facebook) for regular updates this week!