Monday, June 15, 2009

Some prose from Jill

I found these musings from Jill in the winery yesterday. Lovely bit of prose that captures the spirit of vintage! Thought I would share with you.......

The highlight of the winery year - Easter - where
grapes have turned from green to red, the birds are ready
Easter fare for them despite bridal veils of drooping nets
over vines, gas guns booming, humans with guns on quad bikes.

This is the time when the radio hits max volume
in the winery getting the guys in the mood
First pick is preceded by weeks of winery housekeeping
Would their mothers see how these tanks do shine

The first day the grapes come in, the day is fine.
Gleaming press, spotless tanks, pumps all primed.
White bins come in full of Pinot gleaming the team move into action
full of enthusiasm this is the sum total of the years mowing, pruning, weeding.

To the beat of triple four time, a bit of rock and roll
The press whines and thumps and does it's thing, to Carl's time,
the pumps send the juice on it's way, through snaking hoses
The big grey fermenters fill up slowly, huge ingesters, and
yeasts start to glug and bubble away.

Not without a glitch or two, a torch dropped in a tank
settling down through the bubbling brew
it must have thought - ah heaven I see the light!
No help for it, can't have a battery stew
The pumps are manned, the tank is drained,
the torch retrieved, red treasure replaced, it's alright again.

More bins arrive, more grapes to crush, arms haul the bins
grapes, wasps, and purple mush, all grist to the team
who sift and pass the quality stock and toss the rubbish.
There is a bunch of cows down the road who wait for
this, stems and skin, discards in bins, they
recognise the tractor, are at the gate in anticipation.

Down the road, two weeks of toil is starting to show
early starts in the dark, leaving at two am shows the mark
on weary faces, tired arms, stumbling gait, the dogged way
they greet the next pile of bins. One cellar hand remarks
I have a new flat, one week down the track I don't know the colour
of it's outsides, I leave home and arrive back again in the dark.

Seventy five per cent is done, on its way to being wine.
The weather holds, the forecasts followed, rain or shine?
The tardy ones, Syrah working hard on the hill to ripen
basking in all day sun. Cab Franc, Cab Sauv, hang in
there too, among dying leaves, reluctant to go in The Bin.

But the will is still there, the radio still marks the time
Weary limbs respond, wind and sun dried faces shine from
The trailer for the umpteenth time as it comes down the hill.
The winery team look up from endless hosing, cleaning bins
and welcome them all in.

You and I know after years of vintage days,
the winery team live for this time, the whole year points
towards this time, when grapes come in, the quality
surveyed, the tons marked down, the tanks filled up,
barrels in the cellar wait, the vehicle is nature, cruel or kind
and the driver is of course - the wine.