This was article posted on a friend of mine page. Sean Taylor and we met at the JCC in Marin, his mom and I are master swim instructors there. Sean taught for my swim school for two years, but I lose him to the harvest in Napa. Now he has added Chocolate workshops so if you are looking for Holiday Chocolate Workshops he is taking bookings now! Get together with friends and get your Holiday Shopping done at the same time. He can host workshops at Workshop SF, Little Tree Art Studios(San Anselmo), or at your business in the Bay Area.
If you book a workshop with your business or refer me, He will deliver chocolate straight to your work or home!
The creases of your hands should be permanently stained purple.
You should be sick of cleaning. But you should also find peace in cleaning.
You should come to know how you react to adversity. When all hell breaks loose in the cellar, can you be relied on?
You should have at least one moment where you question whether or not you are cut out for this.
But then you will show up to work the next day. And the day after that.
You should be challenging yourself to have a mistake-free day, every day. You will start to string these days together. And then you will find you are starting to get pretty good at this winemaking thing.
You should be inside of presses, taking berry samples, doing punch downs, and scrubbing floors.
You should find people who have a desire to learn and a desire to teach.
You should drink some good wine.
Your employers should be willing to share with you the fruit of your labor because you are probably earning a meager wage. You are here to learn, committing your time, your energy, and your body.
You deserve to drink some quality wine.
You should be encouraged to taste and to explore the previous vintages of the grapes you are currently working with.
You are going to make (and then miss) your best friends.
At moments you will pray for it to be over. And when it is over, you will miss it. You will feel nostalgia over this harvest for the rest of your life.
It is rare to find all these elements in one harvest, but this harvest does exist. I did not watch a Hollywood movie on what it takes to be a winemaker. I lived this harvest at Jordan Wine Estate in Stellenbosch, South Africa. And it has become my standard and my inspiration for making sure every one of you is able to share a similar experience.
Many wineries promise harvest dinners, only to leave you cooking in your cottage after a 14 hour day. Many wineries promise blind tastings and then when harvest gets going, the promises fall by the wayside.
I’ve lived harvests where the staff has been promised a minimum of 40 hours/week and then had hours cut by nearly half; where my French coworkers, out $3,000 dollars after Visa costs and unfulfilled contracts, struggled to pay rent.
I have worked a harvest where I did not drink a single bottle of wine with the winemaker.
There is a standard of honesty, of taking care of your winery family, and of following through on your contractual agreements that we at Ratemywinemaker.com demand of your employers. We demand that they value the human being in the winemaking process.
We are in an industry where the word ‘family winery’ is used as a selling point. I expect every winery to treat you like family. Any winery who doesn’t is ‘out of touch’. The goal of Ratemywinemaker.com is restoring the human element to every winemaking job in our industry, one winery at a time.
There are a lot of fantastic people in our industry and a lot of fantastic winery owners who are committed to educating young winemakers, taking care of the environment, and plying their craft with originality and integrity. Ratemywinemaker.com gives you a platform to give these special wineries the credit and recognition they deserve.