The 2015 Cornerstone Oregon harvest team
It always happens. I tell someone we're harvesting or I have a pick in the morning and they say, "have fun!"
Harvest is many things: inspiring, rewarding, fulfilling, exciting, meaningful, exhausting, but it one thing it isn't is fun. At least not if it’s your life and your living. It may be fun to work a harvest or chip in for a few days, but if you have to take that fruit, make wine, bottle it and sell it fun is not part of the equation. Harvest is the worst thing and the best thing that happens to you every year if you want to make wine that means something. Making great wine is not fun, it's an obsession. Most of all it is intensely rewarding, not financially, but somehow, spiritually.
The mental and physical exhaustion that is harvest is what wells up inside of you when someone asks you about how many points your wine received from some critic, but then you remind yourself it's a lot easier to make opinions than it is to make wine.
It's hard to describe the intensity that we focus on our wines. The hours and hours of walking the vineyards and agonizing over every little choice that is made in the sometimes years long path a wine takes from the flowering in spring until it has the Cornerstone Cellars label applied to its bottle.
The experience of each harvest may not be fun, but the memory of it most certainly is as each moment comes back to life with every cork you pull of that vintage for years to come.
Worth it? You bet.