What I did on my summer vacation, part 2
The end of summer brings the wine harvest here in the Willamette Valley. This year, it was quite early (early September versus mid October-ish) and prolific. We were happy to be able to spend a few days helping with crush at Broadley Vineyards in Monroe. We became acquainted with the Broadleys when we fell in love with their Pinot Noir. Then we met Claudia and Craig Broadley, and the next generations of Broadleys who are all making great wine at a small family-owned winery — and we were hooked.
We showed up and were assigned to work the sorting table. This is the place where huge tubs of freshly-picked grapes are dumped onto a conveyor and sorted for quality. The conveyor leads into a de-stemming machine. That then separates the fruit from the stems. The guidelines, as they were explained to me, are:
— Don’t cut yourself.
— Don’t manhandle the fruit.
— Pull off anything you wouldn’t want to eat (leaves, “sunburned” raisn-y grapes, un-ripe grapes).