Why Growers and Winemakers Love January

Sunday 10th of January 2016

For growers and winemakers, January is the season for rest and recuperation... When the vines lose their leaves from winter's frost and go dormant, so do the farmers who worked the fields... As the freshly pressed juice from the previous Fall's bounty stops bubbling and quiets its activity, so do the people who worked so hard processing it.

January is one of my favorite months... We are allowed to become normal human beings with regards to performing tasks from the "honey do" lists that have accumulated throughout the season. My wife learned fairly quickly that I want to do the things she asks me, however, until the grapes are off vine and wines are put to bed, I have limited time. This of course rings true until Nor Cal experiences an El Nino season where "atmospheric rivers" bring inundating amounts of rain to the point of making it impossible to do any work outside. Still, January rocks. Catching up on movies, hanging with non-wine industry friends, perhaps even sleeping in are activities that wine people get to do in January.

Each year, my wife Sydney marks a big X on the calendar days where I do not go into work. In 2015, there were only 14 days X'ed out. Many of those days were from January. The other days, I was most likely sick and couldn't make it to check on things. Projects and hobbies are once again taken up or resumed during the cold, dark month of January.

This January, I took on a huge project. It had always been a dream of Syd and I to buy an old RV and renovate it. Damn you, Pinterest! We purchased a 1975 Dodge RV in near dilapidation. I was able to drive it the 4 miles home with only 3 stalls. If one has never had to steer a huge motor home to the roadside with no power steering, I can only recommend it once. Of course the new model BM'er behind me had zero patience or understanding for my motor dilemmas. My hopes are to renovate the 21' of antiquity to a point of practical use... Perhaps even drive it 14 miles out to the Pacific and camp overnight with the Fam. But first, the roof needs to be resealed, the interior needs gutting, new electrical run, and I'm praying most of the hard-to-replace appliances work.

In between hobbies, belated honey-do projects, and resting my body after 10-14 hour days at the winery, I happily meet and greet the few clients who do brave the weather to visit the tasting room. One for you, one for me... one for me... ah hell, one more splash...

Happy January!