Sunday, September 20, 2009

Harvest 2009

So harvest is well under way for us here at Woodward Canyon. The end of August saw us bring in all of the sauvignon blanc and chardonnay from our Estate Vineyard. Since then we’ve moved right along, bringing in almost all of the merlot, some of the cabernet franc and the grenache, and then the American clone of the barbera, all from the Estate Vineyard. We also source from a number of different vineyards throught Washington State. Yesterday we brought in merlot from Weinbau and today it was syrah from Champoux. So far everything looks good and the boys are excited.

With the start of harvest around the winery comes the start of “crush lunch” for the cellar boys. Rick and Darcey have made it a point to feed the guys every day, and since none of us are huge fans of deli sandwiches we get to experiment a bit with food. Rafa (our cellar master) and Manuel and Kiko (our cellar guys) are huge assets to this winery and a large part of our success. Rick and Kevin get the credit for making the wines and then those of us who sell the wines gets some recognition as well, but those three receive none of it. And really, they should probably get a lot of it. They do the every day things around the winery to make everyone’s life a bit easier. They do everything from pruning and picking in the vineyard to sorting grapes when they come in to cleaning the tasting room and moving wine for us. We're pretty lucky. I don’t know if we could ask for three harder working guys.

Every year, around this time, we also receive an intern from the Purpan School in France. We have been very lucky in the past having hosted some great students. This year is no different. Colin, pictured in blue, will be with us until the last of October. He's a fantastic worker and a really nice guy.

Speaking of lunch, last Tuesday we hosted a pizza lunch for the buyers from W2U out at the winery. We ended up making about 20 pizzas for 45 people, which included the wine buyers, local winemakers and drivers. Thomas and I got to put the pizzas together while Rick cooked them, before he took off to drop bins at Sagemoor. I also found a new favorite pizza Рred sauce, fresh basil, saut̩ed onions, yellow peppers, artichokes, ground sausage and bleu cheese. Delicious!