As we wind down winemaking lane, it’s funny the things you catch yourself missing once harvest is officially over and wine tasks dwindle down to small or random things. I find myself dealing with withdrawals of daily manual tasks, of being in direct contact with the support of a living substance (meaning, wine). Daily tasks really do give people a sense of purpose, reconnecting us with our innate need to help, support, guide and truly connect with something alive outside ourselves.
Happy End of Harvest, Everyone! While wine work continues, the bringing in of fruit is officially over at our winery. So, in light of that, and given that I’m working on this post days after the fact, I decided to combine the celebration of the last day that we received fruit in at the winery and the last day of pressing fruit along with few post-harvest tasks we’ve been chipping away at – all par for the course, and what an exciting course it’s been!
So,…I went into my first harvest a bit starry-eyed, thinking I would be able to secure a ½ ton of Aglianico fruit for my first barrel. Well, while I did get the thumbs up from two growers, neither worked out for reasons I’ll explain, but more importantly, I realized that securing fruit is really just the first step. Making sure you have the means to physically get it via a truck and then afford to have it custom crushed or partially so (if I help out with it myself) AND then find a temperature controlled space to store 30 or so cases is another deal entirely. Therefore, in the hunt for this great late-ripening red in October, I realized that I need to get my duckies in a row. And while I can now say I know how to make wine, there are still many decisions to make in the course of making wine that warrants another year’s worth of harvest experience.