It’s hard to believe I’ve been here for 3 weeks. We were anticipating a mellow mushroom harvest—good weather, drawn out picking, and a low pressure situation in the winery. We couldn’t have been more wrong.
The rains never came, the sun never stopped shining, and the nights remained warm. Fruit was ripening at a staggering pace and we were days away from being inundated with more ripe fruit than we could possibly process. That has been the tone of 2012: the polar opposite of 2011. Lack of sugar was our fear last year, excessive sugar is our fear this year. What a difference a year makes.
[The ’82 Chevy S-10, and my ride. Thoroughly Febreezed, a new battery, and some fresh wiper blades—my 2012 harvest ride, acquired in a trade for a case of wine.]
I arrived the day the 2011 Willamette Valley Pinots were being bottled, we couldn’t be more excited about how this wine turned out:
First day on the job, tasting the first wine I ever was a part of making. Kind of a special moment.
[The day I left last year, I hung my rain gear never expecting to see it again. Like a glove!]
The 2012 harvest crew. 150 tons of fruit, all processed by these four committed hombres. Ulices, Rob, Jaden, and Michael:
[Fruit samples. We are seeing some of the most incredible color for so early in the month.]
Mid-harvest lunch. Unfortunately it fell on one of our busiest days we ever had, but there is always time for Chablis:
More to come…