Getting the timing right is an art form.
We started late in the morning as the fog had to lift and grapes should only be picked once they have warmed up. Bob and I were waiting for our call up and when it came, we sprung into action. We are pro's by now...well not pro's, but this was our 4th picking season and what was a mystery the first few times has become a familiar and easier row of tasks to understand.
The actual picking of the grapes almost seems like the easy bit. Yet when you are standing there picking, the rows of vines seem never ending...But before you set one foot into the vineyard, all the bits and pieces used need to be washed ( only clean yet high pressured water, no detergent of any sort ) and collected. In fact, washing stuff is a continuous bit of work when it comes to making wine.
Except for a few big wine farmers in our area, most vineyards are managed by the owners. Usually Mum & Dad and often the children will take leave from wherever to help with the harvesting. Burgenlander's are incredibly hard workers and have the most amazing family bonds. Some wine farmers only do their wine as a hobby while having a full time job. Yet, don't be fooled. They produce a few thousand bottles nevertheless.
And what fabulous wines we do make here in Burgenland! Recently our friends from South Africa brought us a few bottles of South African wine. Those wines tasted extremely nice yet the next morning a headache ensued. No, not from over imbibing either. I do know that as a fact because while our friends were here we took them to the annual wine tasting ( Weinkost Deutsch Schützen ) and
if in Rome do like the Romans. They tasted a whole lot of wine. The next morning there was no sight of a headache or heavy limbs. Our local wines taste divine and are definitely quaffable...
Harvest days are always great fun. Often friends, family or visitors volunteer to help out. Don't be fooled: Even though it is jolly hard work, it is an honour and treat to have a bit-part in the wine making process. Everyone knows how to drink a glass of wine but not many can say that they helped in making that glass of making wine....