Here at Taltarni HQ we try and make wine for all the key moments in your life. One of the key moments in a winemaker’s life is vintage. It’s long, tiring, frustrating, sticky, fraught with compromise but if any winemaker denies they love it, it’s time for them to hang up their juice-stained steel caps.
Winemaking sounds like a job that involves numerous occasions for imbibing – that it does – but the great aspect of the job for me is how many different roles it encompasses. Our job as winemakers is incredibly seasonal; we sound like farmers when it comes to the weather at this time of year. This is also our one time of the year to craft our product and the one time of year we can get away with expressing the crazy, temperamental artist in ourselves. Like any good parent we are incredibly sleep deprived, but the reward, after hard work and dedication, is being proud of our creations no matter what.
Here, in no particular order is what I love about vintage.
- The Fruit
I’ll deny this if the vineyard guys are present but it’s all about this. Even for sparkling. As the old saying goes, “You can make a bad wine from good fruit, but you can’t make a good wine from bad fruit.” This is the one time of year we can taste it, work with it, manipulate it. Every year is different, so it always keeps you on your toes.
- The Camaraderie
Like most people these days, we find ourselves stretched and time poor. Vintage is the one time of year we really spend time with the people we work with. Well, you have to with the hours that you work in vintage. We’re focused; we’re concentrating on the job at hand (even if we miss the eagles soaring).
- The Sunrises
I think any shift worker would tell you the hardest time to stay alert is in is the pre-dawn light, but it’s worth it when you see the sunrise. You really can’t complain about an office that looks like this.
- The Sunsets
You saw the sunrise; you’re seeing the sunset. If you’re really unlucky you’ll see the sunrise again. But there’s nothing like a freshly hosed off pad knowing you’ve loaded the last press for the day whilst you watch a beautiful sunset – you can almost taste that knock-off beer.