We Asked 10 Winemakers: What’s the One Thing You Can’t Live Without During Harvest?

As Seen In VinePair October 2022

By Mark Stock 

“Harvest season is here, and for vintners, that means long days at the winery turning fruit into something special. It’s that once-in-a-year stretch that brings joy, headaches, sore backs, stained hands, and, ultimately, another vintage of wine.

Because it’s a marathon of sorts, winemakers depend on all kinds of things to see harvest through. Some don the same lucky shirt they’ve worn since they got into the trade while others rely on a great playlist or their favorite form of caffeine. As you might imagine, high-energy foods and comfortable clothing are typically in the mix. When you work 30-plus days straight, often well into the wee hours, you need multiple pick-me-ups.

As the wine world hauls in vintage 2022 (at least in the Northern Hemisphere), we asked a handful of winemakers all over the globe a pressing question: What’s the one thing you can’t live without during harvest?”

“Well, great music, for one, keeps the teams motivated during the 24/7 operations. I’ve always said one needs to judge a winemaker’s skills by their coffee making. If the coffee is good, then you know the wine is also good. Coffee is a great ‘pick-me-up,’ and we have a classic Cimbali espresso machine. Very important. Finally, during the day, we treat our interns to a classic South African dish to warm their hearts and bodies. Bobotie and Boerewors comes to mind, which is like a South African shepherd’s pie — curried ground lamb, beef, and vegetables topped with a savory egg custard.” —Pieter Ferreira, winemaker and COO, Graham Beck, South Africa

The Zoe Report Review