Thursday, December 18, 2014

Harvest in McMinnville

Harvest was such a blast! I was happy that I split my harvest time at several wineries.

For most of my hours, I was with Vista Hills (either up at their Treehouse tasting room or at the winery space they share with Elizabeth Chamber Cellars). With Vista Hills, I learned how to sample clusters, get a pH and brix reading, and what those readings meant. Later on, those same vines I had sampled were harvested—and I was one of the people sorting the fruit! Bright and early, I was at Elizabeth Chamber Cellars, climbing up a scary faux ladder to the sorting table. After several tons of fruit (and earwigs), the crew all went out to lunch, then came back again for many more tons of fruit.

On other days with Elizabeth Chamber Cellars, I did pump overs, punch downs, and added yeasts to vats of wine. There was always something new to learn and I loved being able to just pop in to help whenever I had a free hour or two.

The longest day of harvest work was with Remy. She called me out of the blue one day and asked if I could come in to help—she wanted to give the day off for an employee's birthday. Remy runs an incredibly clean winery, which means that there are very few fruit flies but lots of caustic and citric acid involved. With her, I did all of those same tasks as well as so much about cleaning a winery! It sounds like a minor thing, but it was very interesting. I also filled barrels with Remy. Thankfully, she was patient and forgiving when I overfilled two of them. The first one was a loss of gallons of wine as I freaked out about what to do. The second was just a few quick ounces.

Lastly, I visited R. Stuart and Co.'s winery several times just to hang out with coworkers and see how a larger winery functions.

Overall, I had so much fun working harvest. Most of all, I loved meeting all sorts of people who work in the wine business. Getting to connect with them and develop friendships with them was a joy!

No comments:

Post a Comment