Folie a Deux Crush Fantasy

That’s All Folks! by The Folie a Deux Harvest Intern
December 1, 2009, 1:49 am
Filed under: Harvest Adventures

Well, harvest has come to a close. I wrapped up my final week as the Folie a Deux intern and I can only look back on it as a wild, fun, hard and exhausting harvest. We were very reflective on our last day and agreed that coming into the harvest we never would have thought that we would have this much fun.

I spent my final days doing exactly what I started with: cleaning.  We scrubbed every pump, tank and bin in the winery. The place is sparkling clean and put to bed until the next harvest. It really did feel like the clean-up crew after raucous party.

Even though we’re all sad about the end of the harvest, I am looking forward to seeing the 2009 vintage of Folie a Deux in the bottle. I can only imagine it will be incredibly rewarding to taste the wines that we all worked so hard on this fall.

Thanks to all of my fellow harvest crew and to finish it off, here are a couple final photos!

All the best,

In the Barrel Room

A Juice Shower


Clean up after the party by The Folie a Deux Harvest Intern
November 2, 2009, 9:27 pm
Filed under: Harvest Adventures

It has been a week since we brought in our final load of grapes! So, in a way, harvest is coming to a close. But don’t tune out yet! There are more good times and hard work to come. I won’t be done until the last tanks make their way up to the barrels. But for now, it’s time to bring on the clean up. As you can imagine, everything at the winery has acquired a purple/burgundy tint to it. It is kind of like the clean up after a big party. The harvest was fast and furious but now it’s time to clean up the mess we’ve made over the past two months!

The Rain Results by The Folie a Deux Harvest Intern
October 23, 2009, 6:50 pm
Filed under: Harvest Adventures

Napa Valley has been getting significant amounts of rain. Our big storm was followed by a smaller storm so we’ve accepted that we’re officially into the end of harvest. With the weather change you don’t get to see the sunrise very often anymore. It’s been replaced with misty moist mornings with a beautiful fog blanket over the mountains and vineyards.

The rain and cold weather brings down the sugar levels in the grapes . All winemakers want quality, high sugar levels. When the fruit comes into the winery there comes a point when the grapes have to be turned away if the sugar levels are too low. The worth of the grapes goes hand-in-hand with the sugar levels. The growers and vineyard managers in the valley really suffered from the rain if they waited too long to pick. Mother Nature is the boss around here.

by The Folie a Deux Harvest Intern
October 14, 2009, 10:54 pm
Filed under: Harvest Adventures

After days of anticipation about a huge storm, the rain has come!

At my last job at the Waldorf kindergarten, we had a saying, “There is no such thing as bad weather, just bad gear.”  Easy to say when you’re inside all day! I have joined the ranks of those who work outside in the rain.

When I woke up this morning I thought no big deal just a little rain…I’ve gone outside every rainy school day for the past 5 years. Well, let me tell you, working in the rain for 12 hours is far more difficult then going out for an hour of playtime for the children. This was truly a historic storm with over 3 inches of rain in one day and plenty of wind!

The winery supplied some styling rain gear for us. We were all dressed from head to toe in yellow. As I called down to the wheel from the catwalk, I couldn’t be sure  of whom I was talking to. We all looked the same: a bunch of ducks in the rain! I think everyone who works at the winery has thrown fashion out the door for comfort and weather protection.

An example of Folie a Deux fashion

An example of Folie a Deux fashion

The storm soaked us with record amounts of rain but it sounds as though California is still going to have drought problems. It makes me thankful that the winery reclaims the production water and recycles it for irrigation. Working in an industry that is so dependent on natural resource makes me think twice about wasting these precious resources.

It’s drying up today and tomorrow it should be a beautiful 70 degrees again! Ah, Northern California weather is never bad for long.

Juice Shower by The Folie a Deux Harvest Intern
October 12, 2009, 3:35 pm
Filed under: Harvest Adventures

Today I made my first big mistake. It was bound to happen sometime but this mistake led me to “enjoy a juice shower.”

I was doing a pump-over and the hose kept clogging up with extra skins. As one of the stoppages unclogged, it sent quite a lot of extra pressure through the hose. I lost control of the hose, it shot out of my hands, and continued to whip around with a mind of its own!

First it sprayed two of my fellow crew members, covering one with juice while the other hid behind an umbrella. Then it flew down to the floor of the catwalk; I jumped on top of it, closed the valve and got it back into the tank. The entire ordeal only lasted all of 30 seconds but it was a chaotic half minute.

When I finally collected myself, I was covered in juice and completely pink. Ah, life as a harvest intern is never dull.

Pump-over….and over and over and over again. by The Folie a Deux Harvest Intern
October 6, 2009, 6:27 pm
Filed under: Harvest Adventures

The last couple of days are mostly filled with pump-overs. At first, pump-overs are fun, as all things are when you first learn about them. Each day when I get to the winery, I hook up a hose to the bottom of the tank and run the juice from the bottom to the top with an air pump.  The top of the tank is “capped” with a layer of skins that rise to the top of the juice. In moving the juice to the top of the tank, I’m breaking the “cap” to bring flavor and color to the juice. The time needed to complete a pump-over can be anywhere from 45 minutes to two hours. I start my morning with a pump-over that takes two hours; I do enjoy watching the sunrise while I go through this process.

The weather has been tricking us all. Dramatic (well, dramatic for California) weather changes are keeping us on our toes. Rumor is that it might start raining in a week. I’ll keep you updated on how that changes things.

Hope you all enjoyed the pictures of me from my first tank cleaning. I didn’t share the after-shot. It was fun but don’t get me wrong, it was difficult! I was covered in sweat and my face was bright red. When I got out of there, it took me 20 minutes to recover. This harvest intern business is hard work.

As Promised, Pictures of the Harvest Crew by The Folie a Deux Harvest Intern
October 1, 2009, 8:37 pm
Filed under: Harvest Adventures

Now that I’m working 12-hour days, the Folie a Deux winemaking and production crews have become even more like family. I’m telling you, they’re great to work with! We’ve all been incredibly busy this week. Grape trucks are coming in frequently, keeping us running around just trying to keep up. We are officially deep into harvest.

I had a special request to post some pictures of the crew. Here are a few pictures but there will definitely be more to come!