As I am writing this, we are pressing one of our last three tanks of Cabernet Sauvignon in the cellar. It’s almost over: Harvest 2012.
In Wellington we have now started a blessing of the harvest ceremony which coincides with our annual harvest festival. I love the idea, but I thought I wanted to make a list of exactly what I was grateful for.
I thought it would be fitting to tell you about the 10 things that I feel blessed for this year:
1. Harvest started one week later this year than usually – It gave us one extra week of planning, mostly in the vineyard. It changed a lot for me in terms of concepts and logistics.
2. Our Optenhorst Chenin blanc vineyard had its 60th planting birthday. Oh how I love thee…
3. Our cooling system worked like a bomb, no failures, consistent cooling. What a joy.
4. ESKOM (our South African electricity public utility) supplied consistent power this harvest. No outages. High 5!
5. We employed a small team of young adults from our farm as harvest help- just to keep cleaning and help sorting. Some of them showed great aptitude and energy. Getting excited about the next generation of cellar hands for the future. I love that we can get excited about PEOPLE!
6. And on people – I feel immensely blessed that we all got through harvest intact and with no injuries. Some people forget that in making wine we work with high voltage electricity, heights, wet surfaces and a lot of happy tanks emitting CO2.
7. We had a super harvest form our grapes from the Upper Hemel-en-Aarde Valley in Hermanus. Healthy grapes from a winemaking area overlooking the ocean. High risk – but high reward.
8. On a personal level – my support team that made things work out at home. Being a winemaker in harvest time is a nerve wrecking exercise (especially if you are married to one too). Add 18 month old twins and a rosy cheeked 7 year old, and you’ve got your work cut out for you. Thanks team Fourie.
9. Coffee – good coffee. Thanks, Petrus, for the machine. I will endure any hardship with a cup of java in hand.
10. I work in a cellar where winemakers in the last century made wines without high pressure, steam, pumps, high tech presses. Thank goodness for technology and hygiene. As an obsessive compulsive type of cleaner – all we have in technology helps me feel safe and confident about our products. I sometimes go into the old cellar and look at the primitive utensils our forefathers had to work with and I feel happy…very happy.
Another year, another set of lessons learnt, I was happy with you, I fought with you. You won your fair share of battles and I mine. Harvest 2012 you beauty, we still have a long road before I put all your wines to bottle…But you have been blessed.