As the days get progressively shorter and we wake up to the Autumn fog every morning, summer slowly says goodbye and Harvest, although early this year, comes to a rapid close. Being a part of harvest is rivetingly exhausting but extremely satisfying. Every woman and man involved in the painstaking labor and long hours may yawn as they complain about their tired backs and purple-stained hands, but they all live for this time of year – it’s the main event.
Every winemaker’s story has been told in seven different ways about how they came into the position they hold today because they are the face of the sweet elixir they bottle. The winemaker’s are often in the middle of the vineyard during the long picking hours, but its those vigorous vineyard workers who often get overlooked.
Their day often starts after dark working well through dawn until the heat kicks in. If not a night-harvest, these workers will start before the sun has peaked over the mountain range and throughout the day at top speeds; a single vine is picked in only a few seconds. Our Sonoma County wineries live and breathe for Harvest, such a monumental period of time. Some of our members have kept us updated with their amazing photos.
Here are just a few:
1. Valdez Family Vineyards Night Harvest -Worker pauses for a quick smile
2. Tara Bella Winery – Avoiding the sun in the summer heat
3. Harvest Moon – taking a bite of the day’s labor fruit
4. Jordan Vineyards – Hard at work as the sun starts to rise
5. Frick Winery – No, not Gandalf (“You shall not pass!”), but Bill Frick with his punch down staffs
6. Amista Vineyards – Raise ’em high, the hands and heads of Harvest 2014