A heartfelt thanks to all the interns and temporary cellar workers is warranted this week, as Thanksgiving approaches. Few wineries around the world could get through the harvest season without the dedicated contributions of these passionate and motivated individuals. For roughly three months, the winemaking team must be bulked up in number to handle the workload demands of vineyard sampling, grape receiving, sorting, pump-overs, transfers, racking, aerating, analyzing and monitoring every step of the vinification process. Some years, harvest interns travel from as far as South Africa or France for the opportunity to work alongside Winemaker Rob Davis at Jordan. Working long hours, this crew develops camaraderie, and the winery becomes a home away from home for many—a home where meals are eaten as a group, stories are shared and lasting friendships form.
With the last of our primary fermentations and macerations complete, the hustle and bustle of the 2012 harvest season has been reduced to a calming pace and a long exhale. The waterfall-like rumble of the aeration pump-overs that has echoed throughout the fermentation hall since the end of September has been silenced. The loud, code-like communication of the lower and upper deck pump-over crew members orchestrating the timing of the “catch” and “finish” between cycles has reverted nearly to library voices. Only the distant hum of a leaf blower herding up the fallen red and brown ivy leaves surrounding the outer winery walls breaks the silence of the ongoing malolactic fermentation in the large oak uprights.
The components of both the Chardonnay and Cabernet blend are nearly stabilized, and while the process is far from complete, the daily winemaking tasks can now be executed by a fraction of the crew that was needed just one week ago. Often in the thick of harvest it feels like it will never end, but it always does. Throughout the northern hemisphere, wineries are now saying their awkward goodbyes to the individuals that came on board temporarily to make it all happen. We sincerely thank them for their time and commitment and hope that their experience here at Jordan will aid in the achievement of their winemaking career goals. Their contributions and hard work this harvest season will forever be a part of the 2012 vintage’s story.
Cheers, thanks and good luck.