When You Love It, It Doesn’t Seem Like Work


L-R: Charles, me, Mark, Kristin, and Bill

Well, maybe that’s not entirely true. Your body will still remind you that you were working all day, even if it is with grapes.

Charles and I went out to Montoliva Vineyard and Winery directly after we were finished with our day jobs on Tuesday. Mark was going to be receiving 18 tons of Pinot Grigio, and it needed to be crushed and pressed. The grapes were being hand harvested, so the crew only delivered about half of the order on Tuesday, but since we didn’t get home until 7:00 that night, it still felt like plenty.

My job was sorting through the grapes to remove any leaves, twigs, random pieces of grass, dried out bunches, etc. before Charles and Bill shoveled everything into the destemmer/crusher. It’s important to remove those bits from the grapes since they can negatively affect the flavor of the wine. From there, the fruit was pumped into holding tanks until it could go through the press. It was hot, sticky work, and I’ve never seen so many spiders in my life. Working with wine grapes is definitely not a chore for an arachnophobe! But you know what — I enjoyed every moment of it. There’s just something about working with grapes that I find energizing. Charles’ back may not have agreed with me the next day, but there you go.

Our regular work gigs prevented us from going back to finish the job on Wednesday, but Mark fortunately had more help, and at the end of the week, there’s a whole lot of Pinot Grigio juice that will now be transformed into some pretty awesome wine, and in my own small way, I got to help with that. Isn’t that awesome?

Harvest is in full swing in California’s wine regions. In another couple of weeks, we’ll be back at Montoliva helping with the Sangiovese harvest, feeling our muscles cramp, and loving every moment of it.

Have a glass of Pinot Grigio for me tonight, in honor of the hard work that goes into great wine. Cheers!

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