My Harvest 2014 internship began in earnest about three weeks ago. We have been preparing both facilities for the grapes, taking samples from the vineyards we are getting fruit from and pressing white varietals as they are ready. My hours have been so crazy I haven’t even had a glass of wine or beer with my husband during the last week! Sunday and this morning are the first two days I have taken any time off; it felt so good to wake up without an alarm, to sip my morning cup of tea and visit with my equally busy husband, my partner in wine. It was rejuvenating Sunday, but I am sure today will further aid my ability to dive back in and work hard Tuesday when we bring in Riesling, to say nothing of the rest of the week.
I am trying to balance my crush responsibilities with my job at a downtown tasting room, Seven Hills Winery. Saturday I was scheduled to work there in the afternoon; for the first time in three weeks. It was so good to see my coworkers, to pour and talk about wine with visitors from around the world. I cleaned up my hands as best I could to remove the discoloration around the nails, moisturize the dry skin from all of the cleaning of equipment and handling of grapes, and wore nice clean clothes instead of the grubbies I wear on the crush pad. This is all after getting up early in the morning to visit some of the close vineyards to pull and analyze samples.
We still have warm days, so crush is fraught with bees and wasps trying to get their share of the delicious grape juice. Last year I was stung for the first time in my life, Jason was also stung with a much worse reaction, hoping we can manage to avoid that this year. We found several wasp nests very close to the crush pad that will have to be dealt with early one morning when it is still cool. Since we are at a farm, with various crops for miles around, it isn’t unusual to have lots of insects, but the wasp population is even larger than it was last year if our Friday pressing of Orange Muscat grapes is any indication.
Despite the intensity of the workouts each time we press, the bumps and bruises I incur, and the lack of sleep (I need lots of sleep) with crazy work hours, I wouldn’t trade it for anything. The romance of a glass of wine has not been diminished at all for me; but I appreciate it immensely. It has occurred to me that my wine coolers are full of small press, craft wines, if you will, rather than large production wines. Where every you live there are sure to be small wineries, have you tried their wines? Let me know what you find, what you like and if they direct ship (Washington State).