It’s 6:00 pm October 9th 2015; I pull up to my house. I tilt my head back and rub my eyes letting out a big sigh. The sigh consists of 3/4th fatigue and 1/4th satisfaction.  Today we pressed off the final lot of wine.  This last day was the most physically demanding of the year. As I slowly slide out of my car seat I feel that soreness has begun to seep into my body. It’s the type of fatigue you feel rewarded with after an intensive workout. Walking to my front door little dried pink pieces of lees flake off my knees and shorts falling on the ground.  At the door I fumble with the keys, eventually getting the door open.  The sound of my entry triggers a social evolutionary response from my daughter. She yells “Daddy” then drops everything and runs at me with reckless abandon. I brace myself for the impact and grip the couch for extra support.  Moments later she crashes into me with her arms outstretched and gives me her best bear hug.  My daughter quickly comments on how I smell like wine. Not surprising, considering I am covered in vino. Wine is wonderful in a glass but on me it’s no cologne.  So after hugging my little girl I head straight for the shower.

Once I washed out the purple and put on some clean clothes I lay down on the floor in the living room.  I look like the subject of a chalk outline with my arms and legs stretched out.  My mind begins to drift as I travel back to all those days of harvest. The hard work of the vineyard and cellar crews slowly begins to sink in. I ponder how great our fruit tasted this year, especially the new Elevation vineyard. I think about the oddity of the harvest.  We started August 12th and finished almost a month early.  I smile to myself. Everything is in and finished fermenting. Another vintage and once again we won! Tomorrow I can sleep in!!!


Ryan Raber