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