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The Pleasures of Cellar Work

The Pleasures of Cellar Work

There is satisfaction to be had in the simple physical tasks associated with winemaking. Things like topping up a barrel just so, a well executed punchdown, stacking away barrels neatly so that they all line up evenly (whether this is by hand or by using the forklift, the satisfaction is the same). Everyone knows I enjoy the physical part of making wine although as I get older I do less of it than I once did. A combination of more responsibilities and a less resilient back have made this more or less a necessity.

When I walk through a vineyard, I often find myself admiring the vines, not only because of what they are, but also the way they were pruned (if well done), shoot positioned, and so on. I've seen pruning crews at work and the good ones are awe inspiring, with their combination of precision, care and speed.

A well executed task in the winery has an elegance to it that makes the cellar a better place to work. Sounds fussy, but it's true. 


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