Volunteer Winos!

Today, Zach and I had the greatest day ever! A few months ago for date day, we went to Bainbridge Island. We did our activity and drove around and surprise, while driving we saw a winery and had to stop.

It is a very small operation, run by one man named Mike. As he gave us the tour and tasting, he started talking about how when bottling and harvesting he needs a lot of volunteer help. He talked about how they make a day out of it and his chef friend comes and makes a special lunch that pairs with the wines that we bottle that day.

As soon as Mike started talking about it, Zach was hooked. We signed up to be on the mailing list and put stars by our names, indicating the we would be open to calls-for-volunteers.

Ever since that day, Zach has been asking me if I have gotten any emails from them. So, like a kid in candy store, once a month he would ask and I would tell him, “Not yet…” .

But finally, the call for bottling help came and we signed up! I’m so glad that we signed up and that Zach didn’t let me back out.

We started the day at 7 a.m. sharp — off to catch the ferry and make it to the island. I was feeling a little sick from too much late night “wine tasting” the evening before and spent the first three hours of volunteering like this:

sleepy

But! Despite the rocky start, once I woke up, (in time for lunch) I had the best day ever. Lunch was Korean-inspired potato salad and Korean Bahn Mi. I had to eat it really slowly to not upset my sick tummy, but once I settled in everything was DELICIOUS.

There were about nine other volunteers — some were newbies like us, but one woman, Sonya had been coming to bottle for about eight seasons. We had a great little team. One person was in charge of filling the bottles — my job was to take the bottle from that person and as quickly as possible, get it in the corker so that the wine was not exposed to air — which ruins the wine.

I loved the work! It was very methodical and meditative — I was totally in the zone! Extra bonus — as “payment” for working all day (half the day for me) we each got two bottles of wine! Woohoo, just what I need right now!

I loved seeing some of the behind the scenes aspects of wine making and being part of the process. I loved getting to know my fellow volunteers and spending time with Zach. Not to get mushy, but to be totally mushy, he is super smart and fun and I love his adventurous spirit. Shucks.

corking

Corking machine! And, the thing I’m holding does a pretty good job too. 

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