13
Apr
09

Apologies

Hey all – apologies for the lack of posts lately and thanks for continuing to pop by and check the blog. 

Vintage is a bit of a crazy time for Aaron and I.  Aaron leaves for work at the winery at 9.30 pm each night and gets home about 10.30 am the following day.  He then often has an hour or so of Fiasco delivery jobs to do (heavy lifting that my big belly wont allow!) – all adding up to continuous 100 hour working weeks for him during the month of April at least.    So we don’t see a lot of each other!  He gets out of bed at night as I get in and in passing we have a five minute update of life in the winery vs life in daylight…

Life in the winery:

Well  Aaron had no idea it was even Easter!  He tells me that despite the usual long hours, vintage so far has been less of a fiasco than last year.  This is because of two key things: firstly in response to last year’s over supply, growers have been made to thin out fruit so there has been a lower volume of grapes to process and secondly, the weather has been such that ripening has been more gradual, with fruit from different areas becoming ready at different times.    I remember last year everyone wanted their fruit harvested at once and crops were far bigger than wineries had anticipated, putting massive pressure on all involved.  There were even punch ups at one winery as over-tired truck drivers ran out of patience in long winery queues.   

Our own fruit hasn’t been harvested yet as the brix (sugar) levels are not quite as high as we would like them.  It is tempting to just get it harvested as it is a nervous time knowing that rain or frost would destroy the crop that looks magnificent at the moment.   We think it will be ready by the end of this week, and to have it all in the winery tanks will be weight off the shoulders :-).

Life in daylight:

I have just finished teaching the first secondary school term, which is always a busy time and tiring with a growing pregnant belly (11 weeks to go)!  It is nice to now be looking at a fortnight’s break.  The only challenge is keeping the kids quiet at home during the day while their Dad sleeps!  So we have been trying to get out and about.  In saying that, Aaron has now reached a level of fatigue where it takes a fair bit to wake him.    I am a member of what is nicknamed the ‘Vintage Widows’ Club’.   Viticulture has become such an integral part of Marlborough that there are now a large number of women who find themselves without their partner over vintage.  And in fact given that there are plenty of women also working in the industry- many men must find themselves in the same situation (not sure if they have a club!)   We had a vintage widows’  brunch last weekend – it was a great morale lifter and a lot of fun!   Vintage also means a dose of solo parenting for those of us with kids.  It gives you a real respect for how hard it must be for those folk in situations where they are long term parenting on their own.  Tahlia and Finn miss their Dad but we are lucky to have close family around which does ease things somewhat for me.  I’m not sure whether Grandad Max will offer to take them to the Classic Fighters Omaka Airshow again after Finn got lost and decided to head for the  main tent to instigate a show stopping announcement calling for his Grandad over the loud speaker!  

The whole family is involved with vintage in some way or another at this time of year.   My Dad grows for various companies (Nobilo, Montana, Spy Valley…) and has been out with my brother Andrew overseeing the harvest of the fruit.  Mum’s even been baking scones for the truck drivers.  The kids have had a ride up high on the harvester and have been doing plenty of taste testing of the fruit for ripeness.  I had to laugh at the shot below of the my two nephews strolling down the vines like a couple of old vintners!

The next generation strolling the vineyard!

The next generation strolling the vineyard!

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