The harvesters… the hidden protagonists of the winemaking. Their work is so important, yet difficult. Without their precious and painstaking work, we wouldn’t have a drop of wine to drink.
There are many challenges that harvesters are facing with during harvest time. Night harvest, different working shifts needing adaptation, harvesting under burning sun… Depending on the height of the canopy they sometimes need to bend for hours, or reach the grapes on a pergola. Moreover, we have the sloping vineyards. Climbing and carrying the cases of grapes up and down are physically demanding, especially combined with hot weather during harvest.
Although it’s very difficult, there is also a positive side of the harvesting at slopes: the breathtaking view ahead. Nothing can be better than working in a beautiful and natural environment. Moreover, when you’re working with a coherent and efficient team that appreciates being ‘‘team’’ the harvest turns out to be a harvest festival.
Wine is made by people and made for people. Knowing this simple fact, we should always put the human factor as our first concern, starting from the production. The first step of making good wine is having a happy vineyard and winemaking crew, keeping them satisfied and giving them the reward which fully corresponds to their work. Otherwise, even if you are producing the best wine in the world it wouldn’t matter.
I took these photos during the harvest of a mountain vineyard in Napa Valley. All these amazing people were a part of the vineyard crew. The breathtaking view and hardworking harvesters coming together in the photos remind us why we should appreciate every single bottle of wine. It was an honor for me to photograph their work, and then go down to the winery to ferment the grapes they harvested.
All images © 2017 by Wines of Nesli. All rights reserved.