This harvest I changed up things a bit and chose to become more hands on with the winemaking process. Being vertically challenged to start, I welcomed the opportunity to push my physical limitations (which aren’t very far) by becoming involved with cellar operations during harvest. I got my full body workout by punching down fermenting grapes a couple times a day, topping barrels and moving wine to breakdown kegs. Aside from being sore from head to toe, I learned a lot about the process and myself. Because so many decisions must be made starting with the pick, I now have a greater awareness of the timing and handling of the grapes the minute they arrive at the winery. My winery background is primarily in the lab so I also chose to revisit some of my roots by running my own lab work. The chromatographs are an old school way of measuring the progress of malolactic fermentation. I’m ecstatic because the picture shows that the wines have completed secondary fermentation so, now we are all ready to relax and age (the wine, not me). What did I learn about myself? This was my first and last selfie. . . But seriously, after all these years, the whole process from grape to glass still fascinates me. As I sip on a 2011 Pinot Noir with pride, I’m reassured that decisions I made in the past were not in vain and going forward I continue to find more inspiration by actively partaking in the down and dirty of winemaking. The 2018 vintage is tasting Grand!