Harvest 2014, Part I

I love my job. I really REALLY love my job. And last week my job came with the biggest perk I could ever imagine. I had the privilege of working harvest and contributing (albeit in a very small way)  to a few of the 2014 wines in the making. It was hard work, but it was an absolute blast and I could not be more grateful for the experience. I’m also entirely in awe of the hard work the wine making team puts in to ensure the highest quality and timely delivery of every single grape they touch. It is extraordinary to say the least and I am deeply thankful to have had the chance to work by their side and learn from what they do. Enjoy a glimpse of my experience below and stay tuned for part 2 next week. Raising a glass of our wine to the team at Winery 9 tonight…cheers to you, SUPERSTARS, and thank you for a life changing experience at harvest 2014. Thank you!

One of several tracking boards (done electronically as well) for a quick visual on the juice and corresponding tank

One of several tracking boards (done electronically as well) for a quick visual on the juice and corresponding tank

A laundry bin at the entrance of the office...this is a very dirty job!

A laundry bin at the entrance of the office…this is a very dirty job!

Fermenting tanks in the cellar are wrapped with cooling jackets (the textured bands you see) to help control temperatures and ensure proper fermentation for each style of juice

Fermenting tanks in the cellar are wrapped with cooling jackets (the textured bands you see) to help control temperatures and ensure proper fermentation for each style of juice

The barrel room and just a glimpse of the many barrels working their magic

The barrel room and just a glimpse of the many barrels working their magic

First task of the day, rotaries...this big guys are full of grapes and are turned several times twice a day and can cut fermentation time in half

First task of the day, rotaries…these big guys are full of grapes and are turned several times twice a day and can cut fermentation time in half

Checking the fruit before making additions

Checking the fruit before making additions

Mixing the yeast and water before adding it to the fruit, once the yeast is poured into the fruit it will start eating the sugars in the juice and "poop out" (sorry but it's true) alcohol...this is fermentation

Mixing the yeast and water before adding it to the fruit, once the yeast is poured into the fruit it will start eating the sugars in the juice and “poop out” (sorry but it’s true) alcohol…this is fermentation

Some of the items used as additions...a straight up Breaking Bad vibe, don't you think, B*TCH?! (get it?...if you haven't watched the show, ignore that last comment)

Some of the items used as additions…a straight up Breaking Bad vibe, don’t you think, B*TCH?! (get it?…if you haven’t watched the show, ignore that last comment)

Our head wine maker along with several other team members taste (and spit) around 120 barrel samples every single day. It might sound great, but what they are tasting is definitely not wine like we know it. They are looking for anything that stands out as bad or needing adjustments and it is mind blowing how in tune with the wine they are. Honestly, probably my least favorite part of the experience but the most insightful. I made temperature adjustments on about 5 different tanks based on our observations from this tasting.

Our head wine maker along with several other team members taste (and spit) around 120 barrel samples every single day. It might sound great, but what they are tasting is definitely not wine like we know it. They are looking for anything that stands out as bad or needing adjustments and it is mind blowing how in tune with the wine they are. Honestly, probably my least favorite part of the experience but the most insightful. I made temperature adjustments on about 5 different tanks based on our observations from this tasting.

And the award for messiest taster goes to me, no question

And the award for messiest taster goes to me, no question

My girl, Casey, ready for afternoon additions...check out her blog at Rooted:You

My girl, Casey, hitting the power pose and ready for afternoon additions…check out her blog at Rooted:You

You feel very small in this place

You feel very small in this place

Again, very. Small. This tank holds enough juice to produce around 225,000 bottles of wine...talk about a hangover!

Again, very. Small. This tank holds enough juice to produce around 225,000 bottles of wine…talk about a hangover!

View of petite syrah vines from "the office"

View of petite syrah vines from “the office”

Lastly, this is probably the only time in my life I haven’t run screaming in the opposite direction after seeing a bee. Don’t judge, I’m afraid of them. Plus, I knew they wanted nothing to do with me in this moment because they are going crazy for the wine foam escaping thanks to the fermentation process.

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One thought on “Harvest 2014, Part I

  1. Pingback: Harvest 2014, Part 2 | a touch of lovely

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