An unexpected invitation to a vineyard

Day after day started and ended with overcast skies. California never looked so dull. We needed a change of scenery, if just for a day. Josh and Tanya, our son and daughter-in-law, asked if we wanted to drive up to the Woodside Farm Vineyard, the home of their friends’ parents. Would we like to help the Vineyard family and friends bottle the merlot and zinfandel wines from the 2012 harvest?

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We knew we arrived at the right place when we saw rows of grapevines on either side of the road.

Many family members had arrived for the holiday so it seemed the perfect time to enlist their help in bottling.

The perfect vineyard truck

The perfect vineyard truck

We entered the little production area at the vineyard to be greeted by stacks of clean, empty wine bottles, waiting to be filled. We were assigned tasks to get started. The first step was removing the bottles from the boxes, and Joe filled each bottle with a bit of argon gas.

As the bottles were filled with wine, the argon gas rose to the top and created a barrier between the wine and oxygen in the air, acting as a preservative.

As the bottles were filled with wine, the argon gas rose to the top and created a barrier between the wine and oxygen in the air, acting as a preservative.

Wine flowed into each bottle

Wine flowed into each bottle

Beth moved wine-filled bottles to Tanya, who operated a machine (requiring a bit of strength) that forced a cork into each bottle. (Occasionally human error resulted in bottles with 2 corks. Oops!)

A gold foil capsule was placed over the lip of each bottle.

A gold foil capsule was placed over the lip of each bottle.

Joshua placed the bottleneck carefully into a machine that used pressure to seal the capsule in place.

Joshua placed the bottleneck carefully into a machine that used pressure to seal the gold capsule in place.

Towel-dried bottles were placed in a clever little rolling machine that adhered a Woodside Farm Vineyard wine label in place. All that remained was to place each filled and finished bottle back in to its case and seal the box with a bit of tape.

Everyone worked well together before gathering to enjoy the many foods spread out on a huge buffet table.  The children carried in heaping plates of mini-cupcakes at the end of the meal.

We’ve visited wineries in the past but always large commercial operations. This unexpected invitation to have brunch turned into an opportunity to plunge into bottling the merlot and zinfandel harvest at Woodside Farm Vineyard, a small family enterprise. This was just the change of pace we were looking for.  And, for our efforts, we all left with bottles of wine – turning it into a totally worthwhile day!

After days in sprawling San Jose, we welcomed the change of view in Woodside.

After days in sprawling San Jose, we welcomed the change of view in Woodside.

 

December 2014

 

 

About simpletravelourway

Beth and Joe enjoy simple travel.
This entry was posted in US - California and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to An unexpected invitation to a vineyard

  1. Bottling Californian Merlot? Oh yes please! I can almost taste it from your photos!

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