November 12, 2006

End of Harvest

The end of harvest at Belle Pente in Carlton, OR, meant more wine dinners and shorter work days. Shorter being 10 or 11 hours, not the 13+ hour hauls of weeks ago.

It felt right to see the season end when it did. The green was long gone from the vineyard and the branches showed in the spot that weeks ago offered only the first yellowing. The mornings frosted, the ground hardening, it was time for the seasonal worker to move on.

I learned a great deal this year, and I come away knowing that it’s time to make my own wine. Of course I’m doing that already. But this year I turned a corner so that from now on, I’m making wine, not just learning to make wine. There’s a big difference.

I also came away with a longer list of to do items than I had going in, which stands to reason if the more we learn, the more we discover questions. There’s no shortage of things to learn about winery operations, forklifts in particular, and the dreaded winery finance and accounting. Not to mention where I’m going to put next year’s wine, much less afford the grapes.

Oh yeah, where am I going to get grapes?

So there’s lots to do, but it’s the season for thinking and reading and researching so I have much to look forward to. Winter rains have returned, happily after all the grapes are long in. Fermentation interests turn from wine to bread and perhaps beer in this season, so there will be plenty to eat and drink along the way. The fervor of harvest is past, the new wines in bed and I’m enjoying the quiet of long fall nights.

But...does anybody know if it’s possible to bond your garage as a winery?

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