Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Last Pick

With mixed feelings, I watched the last two bins of Silvaspoons Vineyards Kerry Lane Block Mourvèdre drive off to the winery, signaling the end of our harvest.

I was just getting used to my routine of waking up in the dark at five o’clock, wolfing down a pot of oatmeal and putting on the grubbiest, most hole-filled clothes I could find.

On my way to the vineyards, if I was lucky, I had enough time to hit Starbuck’s on East Kettleman Lane for a venti non-fat, no-foam latte with three packs of Sugar-in-the-Raw to jump-start the brain.

The main job for Nick and I has been to jump onto the bins on the back of a narrow tractor and frantically pull out leaves from the gathered grapes while moving, trying not to fall off. We just don’t want those undesirable “green,” herbal flavors.

At the same time, we would try and snap some photos or video for our Web site, knowing that nowadays marketing is almost as important as high-quality winemaking.

We got into a rhythm of taking a few pictures just before the whole crew began dumping yellow lug bin after bin into our half-ton bin. Seemed that each member of the crew filled their bin about the same time, so they all came back at once like a big dump truck.

No matter than the cameras became sticky with grape sugars, such that the zoom on one camera is jammed. I didn’t mind getting whipped in the face by long vines as the tractor drove through the rows, or having my glasses glaze over like a doughnut, making it hard to see.

I already miss the popping sounds made by hands yanking off grape clusters aching to be made into wine.

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