Everything Hurts and I’m Dying: Vintage Part II

We’re over halfway through with vintage, but since these last few weeks are going to be just as hard as the past few here’s a little check-in. Maybe you’ve guessed it? Everything hurts and I’m dying.

I swear minorly injure myself at least five times a day. The bruises are out of control. My hands are so chopped up with scrapes and wine stains they’re unrecognizable. Blood has been drawn. At least the only time I cried was when my head hit the corner of the stainless steel stairs.

I’ve finally got the hang of most of my daily tasks, but constantly working with so many heavy, awkward objects is dangerous when you’re not the strongest, most graceful person to begin with. Everything around us is stainless steel and sharp edges. One wrong twist or turn and smack! There goes another bit of skin.

That being said, by the end of each day now I am extremely proud of what I’ve accomplished. I’ve probably pumped over at least 14+ tanks, done a rack and return on two of them and cleaned everything so well, it looks like nothing ever happened. The data on the ferments appears like magic the next morning for the winemakers to see, and that’s all because of me.

I’m still far from perfect but at least now I am confident in what I can accomplish and can see that my contributions matter. One night I accidentally overslept by two hours (gotta love that iPhone dying at 95%) and when I finally did arrive my bosses weren’t even mad, they were just relieved to see me. Because if I didn’t show up, they know that the pump-overs or whatever other tasks they had set aside for me would never get done and the quality of their wine would suffer because of it.

Granted, today I spilled about 2,000 liters of lees or wine vomit all over the dirt so you win some, you lose some.

You can tell we’ve been working 72 hours a week for 8 weeks straight because it’s literally all I dream about now. I wake up in the middle of the night (or afternoon) panicked that I didn’t finish a job right or need to go find a certain person or piece of hardware. As if it wasn’t hard enough sometimes to tell dreams from reality.

Our shoes may not have enough time to dry between shifts but our spirits aren’t dampened. Every day is one step closer to the end, by which we will have processed about 2,500 tons of fruit or 1,800,000 bottles of wine. Not bad, right?

I’ll drink to that.


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