I know I need to adjust my schedule for when crush starts so I'm up early this morning (like 4:00 AM early.) When I arrive at 6:45 the rest of the crew has been working for over an hour. The master of the cellar is Roberto (in the photo to the right.) He says what we are to do, he decides when we break for lunch, and if something isn't working, he will fix it. Early in the morning he is called away, so I jump in to work at the labeling machine. (How hard can it be?) I am able to do it, but it's slow going. The labels don't always start in the same place, so I have to stop each time and adjust the roll so it's right. Then the labels don't always stick completely, so I have a rag that I wipe them down with the get them firmly in place. If you look closely in that photo you can see that Roberto is doing all of those things at once. His left hand is gently helping the pick up roll along keeping the alignment just right. His right hand is holding a roller to secure the label as it turns. He's able to send the labeled bottle on its way and pick up a new one all at the same time. He does this without missing a beat . . . all day long.
And Ryan shows up for work today! (He's been threatening to show up all week.) Ryan runs the tasting room upstairs, and is trying to gets some hands on experience in the rest of the work of the vineyard. He is sitting on the table in the photo to the right. In the front of that picture to the is the cork hopper containing over$700 worth of corks.
After lunch Ryan wants to run the corking machine so he jumps in, and it's "cork-a-geddon" right away. One of the jobs you have to do is make sure each bottle is filled to just the right level. The first dozen or so that Ryan turns out are off in one way or another. So, we pop out the corks (at 75 cents a piece) adjust the level of the wine and cork the bottles again. Ryan asks if we couldn't just pour the little extra wine into a glass someplace and drink it later, but apparently that's not allowed so it goes down the drain.
Lisa Neal (one of the owners of Coeur de Terry) told me yesterday that one of my jobs for harvest is to pray for sunshine. I'm on sabbatical, but I'm giving it my best shot anyway. The weather forecasts in the newspaper have not been encouraging. But today we lucked out. The grapes don't need full, direct sun to get ripe, they just need UV rays. Today we had them. In the afternoon the sun broke through the clouds and lit up the vineyard for a spectacular view. I hope we have more days like this one (weather wise, not bottling all day long wise.) Scott and Lisa have a great crew of very hard workers. I'm having a hard time staying up with them, but I want them to know that I'm willing to do the work that they do. In truth, doing this kind of work makes me very happy that I have a graduate degree. It is hard on the body, my arms are aching, my back is sore and my feet are swollen. That really doesn't sound like a recipe for happiness, but it is. There is something deeply satisfying about hard work well done.