Yesterday was our last day of grape-picking, but there are still quite a few days of the harvest season left to go, from the perspective of our crush pad and cellar crews.
These are busy times! We had a late and slow start to the grape harvest, which didn't start until September this year. Whereas harvest can last as long as ten weeks some years, this year everything is compacted into just seven. Right now, we're in the middle of that compressed "crunch time." Allegro staff who usually have weekends off are currently working six days a week, and they are...well, crushing it.
These, of course, are also strange times. Due to COVID-19, the work in the vineyard, winery, and crush pad is all socially distant this year. In the vineyard, that has meant pickers keeping their distance from each other, and more bins overall. On the crush pad, it has meant streamlining the processes so that no more than one person is on a particular task at a time. Whereas in the past there would have been several people at the sorting table, these days there is just one.
The compressed harvest has also presented logistical challenges, such as the juggling gyrations around tank usage. Sometimes a tank which has been emptied so that its contents can head to the press, gets refilled with other inhabitants just two hours later.
All of the hard work leads to a promising 2020 vintage. Carl's going to work on an estate-grown sparkling Chardonnay this year--we haven't made our own sparkling wine in years. There's also the potential for a Cadenza Vineyards Rosé from this vintage, and of course I am excited about that prospect.
Every part of this process--from the grapes to the bins to the tanks to the barrels to the bottles--provides us with an exercise in looking forward. Both of us have always appreciated that.
Cheers and thanks to our top-notch cellar and crush pad crews: Darcy, Amanda, Dwayne, Dave, and Chris!