We all gained a mega-appreciation for our super-skilled vineyard staff today. It took us 1.5 hours to pick 1.5 tons of grapes. According to Manuel, our Director of Facilities, in 1.5 hours, the vineyard crew of 16 guys will pick 8 tons to our 1.5. And we were 30 strong out there today. We’ll have to get a video of the vineyard crew doing their thing. It’s mesmerizing the way their fingers fly through the vines while the voluptuous grape clusters go thunk thunk thunk in their bins. Today my grape clusters went thunk…[30 seconds later]…thunk… It’s hard to get your little blade through all the intertwined leaves and vines to make a quick, efficient slice at the hidden juncture where the cluster grows, and then move on without missing a beat. For us amateurs, it was a lot of bending over, squatting down, feeling and fumbling and fighting with the vine to get to the stem of the cluster only then to try to untangle it from the vines it has grown around. The pros in the vineyard practically keep a steady walk as they pick. I don’t know how they do it.
Next week, we will begin bringing in the bulk of our fruit, and it is going to be crazy. I’m running out the door to go pour at a wine and food event in San Francisco, so more updates will have to wait until next week. I wish everyone at least one delicious and memorable wine experience over the weekend!