Page A Great View

Lead up to harvest is a time of frayed nerves and long hours.  In many cases you are playing a game of chicken with the weather, and usually I’m the first one to flinch.  I get so tied up worrying about making the right decision that I rarely stop to enjoy the moment.  That would soon change.

Five Rows Lowrey Vineyards cabernet sauvignon

Earlier this week we harvested our first fruit of the year, and as I stood awaiting a load of fruit atop the bins of the receival truck, I was struck by the view.  From this vantage point I was overwhelmed by imagery and memories.  The stress of harvest suddenly melted away and the bigger picture came into focus.  The green rows of vines looked resplendent contrasted against the fall colours adorning the trees.  A harvester slowly chugged its way down a row of Sauvignon Blanc, driven by one of my early childhood heroes – “Big Ernie”.  When I was just old enough to remember, Ernie let me ride with him on the big harvester, a memory I will forever cherish.  I also suddenly recalled the time my Grandfather fell from the exact position I currently stood, landing hard on the road below.  Miraculously he wasn’t seriously hurt.  I made a point be extra careful negotiating the narrow bins for the rest of the day!

Huddled around a thermos of coffee were my father and “ever-ready-with-baked-goods” mother, Rob the Creekside winemaker, John our truck driver, and Henry the tote bin driver.  It really put my stress and worries in perspective to see the interaction of these people who had been through so many vintages together.  They laughed and exchanged stories from the old days of Ventura’s and Concord’s, then debated some of the more heated issues facing our industry today.  Their collective experience both humbled and inspired me.  At the root of our farm and it’s history are people like them…people like me.  Crops come and go, weather is always going to be a problem, wine will be made and sold, but the tradition and land lives on.  From my perch I smiled and wished some moments could last forever.

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