This is what we work year round to do. We winemakers wait for our one shot each year to make beautiful colors, smells and tastes and we do it right now. There comes chaos and stress, adrenaline and nervousness, excitement and fear and each year, right before harvest hits, total dread. The list of things that can and do go wrong is staggering.
I’ve been stung by bees 4 times in one day, I’ve dented buildings with forklifts, run out of gas hauling 3 tons of malbec- stopping 10 feet from a functioning railroad track, had mold growing on what was supposed to be a lovely vineyard, been rained on, been hailed on, had a stuck fermentation, had tanks leak, barrels leak, gotten the forklift stuck in the gravel, had any number of machinery decide not to work that day, been locked out, seen lower than expected yields, higher than expected yields, gotten sun when I wanted cold, gotten thunderstorms when I needed heat, but then again, there in the middle somewhere, I’ve gotten exactly what I wanted, and it was worth the wait, anxiety and pain.
When it is frigid late at night and your washing buckets in cold water to the howling of coyotes over the hill in a lonely, distance spot in the world and you walk from the crush pad into a warm, crackling fermentation room, with the smell of yeast and juice bubbling, it seems, all of the sudden, so lovely.