Getting back into the vineyards

Since I have been back Stateside, the project has been gaining momentum. Aside from tedious paperwork, tireless preparation and planning, Business Plan developing (and thank goodness completion!) I’ve been basically sitting on my hands waiting for things to progress after I check another task off of the to do list. The thing is, all of this is taking place in France. While I cannot wait to get back to Beaune, there is still a lot of work to do at home. I can’t begin to express the amount of anxious energy this adds to my ‘always be tinkering’ personality.

One thing that was ingrained into me while reading about Burgundy and especially while visiting was the importance of vineyard knowledge. Even as a winemaker (for which there is no true French translation – for a reason mind you), you need to know what is taking place in the vineyards. I’ve worked in the vineyards while at Napa Valley College. But, the more experience, the better. While it’s not the same as being in Burgundy, I will be working in roughly seven vineyards in Sonoma County. All Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The work will be mainly shoveling, planting, vine pulling…all the stuff that can really be backbreaking but more importantly extremely useful experience to bring with me to Burgundy.

For me, nothing can replace experience working with the soil in Burgundy. But, this has to be the next best thing. During Harvest, while working on my own project, I have plans to work with a well known Domaine in the Cote de Beaune. All in all, this year should be a huge learning experience.

Watch for some updates next week from the vineyards.

2 thoughts on “Getting back into the vineyards

  1. Ray-
    I think its great that you are doing work in the vineyard. After leaving the banking world and working my first harvest in 06, I spent the winter of 06 and spring of 07 working in the vineyards. It truly is back breaking work, but you feel such a connection to the vineyards and the grapes. Congrats on following your dreams!!

  2. Macario, thanks for the comment. Not sure why I hadn’t seen this previously. I’m enjoying the hard work. As you know yourself, it is far more rewarding than sales and finance.

    Cheers and best success for you,


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