The 2011 Harvest is done. It has actually been done for the Northern California wine industry for a few weeks, but I needed those weeks to digest all that I have experienced (and re-acclimate to my previous life), before I was ready to write this final post for Man Falls in the Vines – #MFITV. Harvest is such a compressed, intense experience. It has proven to be hard for me to sum up in a somewhat, year-end post. Despite such difficulties, I was able to complete my harvest insider feature article for the January edition of Mutineer Magazine, as well as their brand new Mutineer Magazine Beverage Trade Edition, also debuting in January. All of this experience, hard work, and camaraderie demand applause and to be forever thanked for, however. And after the jump, you will see all of the new (and one old) vinopanions that I made during those six weeks in Stags Leap, Napa at Chimney Rock Winery (Twitter, Facebook, WineLog).
Harvest at the Rock was a tremendous learning experience. I feel as though I only knew a tiny bit about wine before embarking on my MFITV adventure. Indeed, I only knew (some) of the consumer side of the story, 50% of the vinoquation (though I’ve got the imbibing part covered). Once I began working in the winery and occasionally in the vineyards, I realized that I didn’t know hardly anything about the intricacies and craft needed to make a fine wine. Each day was, at times, overwhelming with the large and small winemaking concepts that I was learning. I eagerly accepted all of these new physical, mechanical, and intellectual learnings, with a giddiness that might have seemed a bit over the top I’d imagine, for my fellow talented cellarmates. I greatly enjoyed the physical labor aspects of the job, something that I rarely experience while researching cancer therapeutics in my day job. I dropped 9 pounds and took a healthy 46 point chunk out of my cholesterol level, and gained quite a bit of upper body strength and muscle. Yet the best part of this entire wine adventure, as it always is for wine and myself, were the people and the relationships that I made and strengthened.
All of my fellow winery workers are crazy talented, beautiful, and deeply cultured and passionate wine workers. I can’t thank them enough for willful sharing with me their knowledge, stories, passion, and most of patience, while I worked alongside them during the challenging and rewarding 2011 grape harvest. Listed below are their photos and below that I have put together a short slideshow of some of my favorite photos that were taken during crush. At the end of the video is a clip of the quiet winery, almost slumbering at the end of harvest. The quiet that evening was almost shocking in its silence. Thank you, Chimney Rock Winery.
Follow all of my adventures during that crazy sabbradical, by keeping up to date here at Vinopanion and by following the #MFITV hashtag on Twitter. You can find even more content by checking out my Facebook. The project also has it’s own photo albums on said Facebook, as well as on my Flickr. Lastly, all of the videos are being posted at my YouTube channel. Don’t be shy, I’ll add you to any profiles.
As a reminder, week 1 was detailed in my intro post, weeks 2 and 3 covered in my second post, and weeks 5 and 6 were detailed in my previous #MFITV post. Lastly, my feature article about #Harvest2011 debuts in Mutineer Magazine and in the new Mutineer Magazine Beverage Trade Edition in their January/Febuary issues. Check them out and let me know if you have any harvest questions. Cheers and a happy New Year to all!