Sunday, 30 March 2014

All good things come to an end

I knew it would come, I was uncertain of when, but the vintage period is drawing to an end and the winery have reverted to their normal levels of manning.  Sadly, as a casual employee, this means that my Vintage 2014 journey is complete.

I will miss this beautiful view upon arriving at the winery each day
It's difficult to put into words just how much I have learnt over the past 12 weeks. First and foremost, I have been able to experience first-hand each stage of the wine production process: from grapes arriving at the winery, right through to the finished wine being loaded for transport.  Each stage of the process has its own associated techniques, requiring detailed analysis and attention to particular chemical changes in the journey from juice to wine.

But there is so much more to learning about the workings of a large-scale cellar.  Such considerations as: the time each batch of juice/wine spends at each stage, ensuring tanks are not left with 'ullage' (empty space), keeping everything as clean as possible to prevent vinegar flies, ensuring fermenting wine does not get too hot when left over the weekend without chilling, etc.

a winery with history - the beautiful old barrel room
Working with the permanent cellar hands, who have all completed university level wine making courses, has been a humbling experience.  They have all imparted upon me a wealth of knowledge but also have caused me to reflect that it is very difficult to broaden your winery experience whilst maintaining a lifestyle in a capital city.

Whilst I search for my next wine industry opportunity, I will be continuing with my own self-eduction in wine.  To kick-start this, I am going to be exposing myself to as many wine varieties, styles and regions throughout the month of April.  I have challenged myself to taste a different wine for every day of the month and I will be posting tasting notes (as well as some other interesting facts) on each and every wine across the month.

I have a particularly exciting tasting event to kick off with on 1st April, so watch this space...