This morning, as I walked from the south building to the north building at TWWIAGE I got a whiff of a familiar smell, (something is rotten in the state of Oakville). With the temperature reaching 70° F today in Oakville I tried to find any excuse to be out of doors, it was just gorgeous.
There is a very definite seasonality to the wine industry. Of course many peoples day jobs are cyclical; there are often tasks that need to be performed on a daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, yearly basis etc., but no occupation is quite as seasonal as farming. Unlike an office job, where ones immediate environment changes little, if at all, especially with HVAC, working at a winery one is fully immersed in the daily changes in ones immediate environment - there is constant awareness of exactly where one is on the viticultural calendar. My olfactory epiphany today was triggered by the smell of compost in the air: a neighbouring vineyard was spreading composted grape pomace amongst the vines, a typical vineyard operation this time of year (to take advantage of the winter rains). It's not a bad smell, (it reminds me of being on a Greek island after an olive harvest/olive oil pressing), but it is strong and evokes in me an almost tangible awareness of the passage of time.
This past Sunday, Vinomaker and I bottled a 2013 Chardonnay, (grapes from the Carneros AVA, all stainless steel fermentation and sur lie aging) and it smelled great. Wineries often have very definite bottling schedules, we don't. Sometimes our day jobs just get in the way.