Posted by Brian Loring
I’m lucky to work in an industry where I don’t have to do the same thing all year long. In my previous life as a software engineer, every day was pretty much the same: Go to work, sit in a cubicle and write software. Basically the human equivalent of being a veal calf. But with winemaking, we rotate through “seasons.” When you’ve just about had it with one aspect of the job, you get to switch gears and do something else. Right now, I’m pushing in the clutch and selecting the Picking Gear.
For a winemaker, the year starts out with you going on the road to promote your brand. No matter how successful you are, you need to get out and wave the banner now and then. Since Loring Wine Company keeps expanding our distribution into so many new states, I spend a lot of time visiting those markets. I usually get a break from all that grueling travel in March when we rack barrels. Once the traveling is done (around the first of June), we start getting ready for bottling. We bottle during the end of July and first part of August. And then it’s time to get ready for harvest. That means cleaning, cleaning, and … cleaning.
I feel like we’re grinding the gears a bit at the moment. It looked like we were going to pick our first fruit this past weekend, but the weather cooled down. Now it looks like next weekend. We’ve been visiting vineyards checking things out and have come to the conclusion that 2008 is going to be a weird year. Due to frost damage in the spring, we’re seeing some uneven ripening, which may lead to us having to drop fruit despite the crop already being lower than normal. We’re also seeing some vineyards with ripening clusters that still have 2 or 3 green berries on them. There are some places where the vines appear to be already shutting down. And there are lots of clusters with a mixture of very small and normal sized berries (known as "chicks and hens"). Just weird.
Of course, I’m not sure any vintage is ever normal, but this one is looking to be jam-packed with all kinds of fun and excitement. And I’m getting itchy to get started!
Charles J Stanton — Eugene, OR — August 27, 2008 1:45pm ET
Tyler Mcafee — Houston, TX — August 27, 2008 3:24pm ET
Brian Loring — Lompoc, CA — August 27, 2008 3:33pm ET
Brian Loring — Lompoc, CA — August 27, 2008 4:39pm ET
Apj Powers — Dallas, TX — August 28, 2008 2:24am ET
Brian Loring — Lompoc, CA — August 28, 2008 4:42pm ET
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