Part of me misses our annual harvest parties. We drew a group of friends, family and Wine Club members for an early morning breakfast next to the vineyard, cleared the vineyard for several hours, then enjoyed lunch on our deck paired with wines from previous vintages. They were always on a Saturday and we held them for over 10 years.
Jennifer and I worked all night preparing the meal, then continued into the pick with full jets on.
They were energizing and poignant experiences that have faded into fond memories.
So today we have a half dozen Latino vineyard workers doing the work of almost 100 gringos in less than 2 hours. Although the picture may not be as romantic, the function is greatly comforting. This is a professional crew and the grapes could not have stayed on the vines a day longer to achieve the quality we seek. Waiting to Saturday would have compromised the crop, already fast fading into light raisining.
I awoke at 6:00 am to a still dark morning. I picked up the truck from the local Rental Place and the bins retrieved from the winery last night.
This morning, I began by unplugging the electrical chargers that surge 8000 volts of electricity around every row to keep away our unfriendly neighbors, the raccoons, who love to feast nightly on our crop.
Then I pulled off the straps securing the bins to the flat bed to allow arranging them for filling. I set up step ladders for dumping the small picking bins into the larger 1/2 ton bins for transport.
Then I greeted the crew and started documenting the event with pictures. They are fast, as the video shows. We have six men and women working at super-human pace.
When the pick is complete, i will drive the fully laden truck to the winery for off-loading, sorting, destemming, and crush. The babies will be put to bed for the season and I will sleep soundly tonight:-)