Man vs Machine

Woahh I’ve been lagging on blogging this week, and I don’t even really have an excuse for it. 

 I had a couple days in the vineyard this week, but yesterday was the big one. I almost can’t move my hands from yanking on the scratchy net material all day (not wearing gloves = bad idea). It was a blast, though – I got to watch sheep grazing in the vineyard, I felt the cool morning breeze as Vineyard Luke and I got pushed around on our tractor crate, and despite the panic of racing a machine harvester through the rows (we had to remove nets before the harvester came through, sprinting down the rows yanking down nets – so dramatic!), the overall day was super relaxing. 

I have to admit, I was super judgmental of machine harvesters before working in Hawke’s Bay. I associated them with mass-produced, less-than-quality wines you’d fine for $7.99 at the grocery store. I’m certainly not a pro on machine harvesters, but I got to see one in action when the driver gave Vineyard Luke and me a ride to the winery. The machine grabs the grapes off the vine and sort of shakes the grapes through some kind of destemmer machine before dropping the grapes onto a table of rotating cylinders with different-sized spaces between each cylinder. It’s essentially a berry-sorter, but done by machine, so the fruit that ends up in the picking bins is exceptional, and my mind is much more open to the idea. 🙂 

A few of my other accomplishments o’ the week include:

1. Learning how to drive a TRACTOR


(That is Vineyard Luke demonstrating so well what we’ve been doing. One person drives the tractor while the other stands in that nice crate, pulling in the nets and stuffing them in the bag. If we have there people like we did yesterday, two will be in the crate – one pulling and one stuffing. So fun!)
2. Learning how to drive a stick-shift (poorly)

3. Pulling lots and lots of nets off vines

4. Seeing a machine harvester in action


5. Riding ON TOP of the machine harvester for a few minutes

(Left: that’s Vineyard Luke)
Yesterday was my last day of work, and next week is basically full of celebrating and (more) relaxing until we start the beginning of our journey home. I’m so thankful for everyone at Clearview for teaching me how to do winemaking stuff, especially being so generous to me and the other foreigners. 

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