After a couple of days catching my personal life up I was back in the fray at the college today. We destemmed and pressed Riesling grapes followed by Pinot Gris grapes.
I hadn’t been up on the platform of the destemmer, so I went up when we began the Pinot Gris. Two others were on the platforms with me. Last check to be sure all was in order and I realized I was beside the lever to raise and lower the bin. Pushed down, nothing happened; pushed up and it began to rise. Watching the bin and the grapes begin to roll I kept lifting the bin: MISTAKE! The hopper was way full and grapes were spilling down the side. Push the lever down, way too far down, but that was necessary. No warning, no thought to how it looked at that end as I was concerned with the smooth flow from the bin.
Those on the ground picked up what they could, we swept the clusters within reach into the hopper as they fit. I lifted the bin, slower and watching the hopper instead of the bin. I moved out of the way as the guy next to me leaned further into the bin with the shovel. We traded places as the conversation on the ground resumed. The bin empty and returned to horizontal, we all climbed down.
I might as well have been wearing a scarlet letter for the next twenty to thirty minutes. When the second bin was in place there were already four people climbing up to the platform; no chance for me to undo my error.
There was a pause in activity, everyone came down off of the platform and some other work was done. I made sure I was poised to be up there, responsible for the bin as I wanted a chance to redeem myself. I am sure several people were actually holding their breath when I was in place.
Take two, I slowly tipped the bin until it was as close to empty as possible. I lowered the bin; there was applause. Lesson learned in a very public manner.
If I had not made mistakes in my life I wouldn’t know many of my favorite people, been to several really fun places or done some incredible things. In fact, without mistakes, I might not be following a dream right now.