Day 2... it is going to be long one


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South America » Uruguay
January 25th 2012
Published: February 18th 2012
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1-25-12 Wednesday

Today will be our first day of harvest. There is a whole lot of Chardonnay that needs to be picked and crushed today. After setting up the winery for the sorting and pressing we were driven to the chardonnay lot. Orlando, the guy in charge of the men who harvest the grapes told us to go to the end of the lot and start there. We were all determined to pick quickly because they thought we couldn’t finish one row, which is why they placed us so far away. At first I started with a lot of gusto, picking as fast as I could and filling lug after lug. By the end of my row I could hear the workers catching up to us. Ben and I finished our rows and helped Ori with hers, that is 14 lugs per row and we were off to the other side of the field. Again placed at the end of the rows, we started to pick again, and then we saw that the workers started to walk back to the winery. Ori asked if we should keep picking or stop and they said to keep picking… hahah very funny guys, it was lunchtime and they were hoping that we would stay and pick the rest of the grapes while they had a break, a fun joke on the newbies. We caught a ride back to the vineyard and I was ready for my siesta. Thank the lord for a two-hour break… I needed it after all of that picking. My hands are stained from the grease of the scissors and I have some nice blood blisters. Tom Matthews wasn’t joking this was hard work. I really hope that the remainder of this trip isn’t just harvesting. After lunch with Thomas, Margaritas son, who has decided that he wanted to spend the summer on the vineyard, it was off to pick the remainder of the chardonnay. I picked another 14 cases than I lost hope and lost track of counting. It was too hot to pick quickly, and it was hard to find shade. I was happy when the other pickers caught up to us because that meant that I didn’t have to pick anymore. We walked back to the winery to finish sorting the leaves from the grapes and then de-stemming and pressing the grapes before they are pumped into the stainless steel tanks. A total of 6 truckloads of grapes were pressed which equaled 16 tons of grapes, or in the end 10,800 liters of juice. All of the machinery had to be cleaned and sprayed with water, which I was more than happy to do. The workday ended at 9pm, it was long and tiring but hamos terminado, or we are finished. We had plans of cooking a whole chicken on the grill but we were all too tired. It was a quick dinner and then straight to bed, for maybe tomorrow will be like today.. I sure hope not.

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