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Bin City

This year Deerfield is going to crush about 350 tons of grapes into sticky and oh-so-sweet juice (and hopefully ferment it into some darn good wine). It probably never crossed your mind though how all of those grapes get from the vineyard to the crush pad. I'm not going to tell you all about picking here because I'm sure I'll actually be doing plenty of that when harvest gets here. But I will tell you that after the grapes are picked and a preliminary sort is done they're loaded into huge plastic bins and shipped by the truckload to where ever they need to be, sometimes hundreds of miles away. None of the vineyards we buy grapes from are too far away though so our grapes' journey is much shorter.

But interestingly enough, the whole business tends to follow a BYOB rule. Bring Your Own Bins. That means that Deerfield has to have dozens of these large plastic cubes on hand for when it's time to go get the grapes. And because you never know when the first day of harvest will be it's important to be prepared. And that means a veritable cityscape replete with skyscrapers made of bins must be thoroughly cleaned. This city isn't as beautiful though as San Francisco or New York's skyline so for the 9 months out of the year that they're not in use we keep them out of sight. I'm actually not too sure where we were hiding them but I can tell you with certainty that it was somewhere very muddy. And damp too: A battalion of tree frogs had colonized the city. Ok, maybe a battalion is overstating things... I counted four.

I used my close friend the pressure washer to clean them and got drenched in the process, but I'm pretty used to that by now (I usually change my socks at least once a day). At the end of the day I decided that Ricardo, who brought the bins from the vineyard and put them on the crush pad, was a terrible city planner. So I hopped on a forklift and did some major reconstruction. Sometimes I get a little overly-enthused about a project. I guess that's a nice way of saying obsessed because I stayed an extra hour and a half after the day ended making sure my Bin City was perfect. And it did look better. But not nearly as beautiful as the view of the valley behind it, which it will do an excellent job of completely obscuring until harvest is over. At least I can still see the view from my tent!

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Reader Comments (1)

"Sometimes I get a little overly-enthused about a project. I guess that's a nice way of saying obsessed...."im going to use that instead of OCD...hehe

August 24, 2009 | Registered CommenterCarmen

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