From the Winery

The continued adventures of Rebekah the harvest intern

October 18, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 


Hallelujahs for Roast Chicken Sunday.  To end our seven-day stretch, we had dinner to look forward to chez Maria.  “What’s for dinner” is a common topic of discussion starting about 2pm each day, directly after lunch. Now mind you, our bellies and our thirst have been fully satiated each evening with dinners that Maria, den mother, has been creating for us hungry tigers each evening and we have been ever grateful. But Roast Chicken Sunday (and the end of our work week) in particular was something we were all looking forward to. Also, we had a birthday to celebrate. Captain Frank Blair, one of the owners of the winery’s birthday always lands during harvest. We had a wonderful evening sharing stories of sea voyages and far-away adventures, days gone by and of course, waxed poetic about the beautiful wines we were drinking and apple tart we were devouring.



Fork Lift Certification:  After attending a 3 hour class with Tony, the Toyota Guy, I am now a card-carrying, certified fork lift operator. That means, I can move up to 15,000 pounds of stuff! Wowee. Truth be told, I had never even sat on a fork lift before Monday, but now that I know how to operate one safely, I’m excited to practice moving some empty bins around. My father was particularly pleased with the news – he used to drive a forklift around when he worked in a warehouse long ago and he loved it. Must run in my blood.



Boy, can that man whistle! Mr. Jimmy Leydon is one of the kindest souls I have ever had the pleasure to meet (and he used to write jingles, how cool!). Jimmy grows about 35 acres of fruit at his Courting Hill Vineyard about an hour away from McMinnville in Banks, Oregon. Erin, Deven and I were tasked with meeting Jimmy up at his vineyard this morning to take some fruit samples before our projected pick-date tomorrow. We spent about an hour with Jimmy and his sidekick Duke, the yellow lab. We were nervous that we might run the poor dog over as he led our Dodge down the vineyard road, but Jimmy assured us that we should just drive faster! Needless to say, we all made it safe and sound. We sampled different clones of pinot noir with Jimmy and he told us the fascinating story about his Jackson clones (that will be for another day). We were sad to go when Jimmy offered us a cup of coffee, but fruit was waiting at the winery for us to process. And process we did!

Practice and lots of patience make perfect. I put my forklift training to work today when I moved some empty grape bins onto the trailer of one of our growers. It was difficult and it took me about ten minutes. Thankfully, I had a very patient tutor in the wings (his name rhymes with Parmiggiani) who helped me feel the nuance in forklift maneuvering. Practice, practice, practice. For now, I’m just a little envious of Erick, our assistant winemaker and forklift guru- his style and execution on the floor are remarkable!

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