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February 1st 2012
Published: February 21st 2012
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2-1-12 Wednesday

The forecast says there will be over a 50%chance of rain for the next 4 days. With this news there was a change in plans for what will be harvested. Finding breakfast for four people was rough this morning, we are quickly running out of food. Thankfully Francisco has returned to the vineyard today. He acted very surprised when he asked me if we needed anything from the store and I replied with everything. Four mouths is a lot to feed and Thomas comes over for dinner as well. And he is 15, which means he normally eats like he is eating for two. He said he would get us what we needed for now and we could go shopping later. But really who knows how long “for now” really is.

There are so many characters that work on the vineyard. When we arrived we were trying to distinguish if they all worked for the vineyard or if some were part time employees. Come to find out the people who harvest the grapes are here just for the harvest. They live in a town two hours from here and they work only for a few months. They get paid by how many lugs they can fill per day. There are 25 of them in total. They all stay in a large barn on the property with a small kitchen and they each get a roll out mat for a bed. I guess I can count myself lucky. The six guys who drive the tractors are the ones who are full time employees of Bodegas Carrau. They are hysterical, always playing practical jokes on each other. They are all so interested want to know more about us, but they mostly speak Portuguese. They have the most interesting faces; my favorite is this one guy whom I believe his name is Morice. He looks both young and old at the same time(if that is possible). I can’t tell if it is his face that looks old and his eyes young, or vice versa, but he would make a great portrait, it has become one of my goals before I leave to get a great candid shot of him.

I started my new book today, “the art of travel” by Alan de Botton. The introduction itself is written with such genius. I can already tell that I am going to love it. Thanks Dave! I am only on the first chapter of the book but the author describes how we as humans spend so much time preparing for a trip that we forget about why we are going and how we are getting there. We focus on pictures and brochures of a certain place that we completely tune out the important part of the whole trip, the traveling to the destination. And when we finally arrive our brain automatically switches to worry mode and we think about what we need to do when we return, our finances and so on that we don’t actually take in what we have come to see. As humans we focus more on the destination in the comfort of our own home than when we are there. Thinking back to yesterday this is so very true. Yesterday I couldn’t stop from thinking about home. Having a lot of time to think can go either way, you can spend it worrying about what is happening at home or you could open your eyes and really take in what’s around you, and your life for what it is worth in that moment. At this moment I am very lucky.

The rain started again at 7. This was good timing because we harvested what needed to be harvested and the rain was cooling the air significantly. I napped with my windows open, as you should when it rains. I really love rainy evenings. It gives you the chance to get things done during the day and really enjoy the night. We went to the main house for dinner around 8, on the menu tonight was hamburgers paired with a 1986 Merlot. The bouquet was very harsh when first opened. All I could smell was olives and balsamic vinegar, one might think that it would be corked but the taste was still there. While we let the merlot decanter we opened a 2010 Pinot Noir, the same that was fermenting in the tanks right now. It was light bodied and spicy with a little tannin finishing with dark cherry. The Merlot was ready just as the hamburgers were. The nose opened to spice and oak, and the body was much lighter than I expected for a Merlot with cherries, vanilla, and wood. You could tell that the life of the wine was coming soon coming to an end. There was a hint of antiquity at the close and almost finished sour as if it’s life was coming to an end. This was all followed with a 2006 Sust, 2001 South African Muscatel port, and to finish that all with a little Woodford Reserve. If that doesn’t put you to sleep I don’t know what will.


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