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Hard Labor at the Chateau

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About 3 times a year we open up the bottling line to pour our liquid treasures into glass bottles. During these times, our production crew graciously offers other staffers the opportunity to share in the experience. This year I, along with a few other brave (and gullible) souls, offered to help. It’s now two days after my “experience.” I would have posted the day I worked it, but I didn’t want to get blood on my keyboard, the result of my hands being chaffed from moving a thousand cardboard boxes. Also, my muscles didn’t respond to what my brain was telling them to do, so who knows what I would have been typing. Loading bottles from the assembly line was not only physically challenging, it was stressful. I didn’t want to be the weak link on that chain. (I did contemplate downing a few sips, but the bottles would’ve stacked up and crashed to the floor; not very helpful of me).

In short, while I’ve always had the utmost respect for those working in production, that has now increased exponentially. These guys are not only experts in making wine, working complex machinery, and troubleshooting all that can happen, they are physically far more fit than I. When you crack open a 2010 Chardonnay in about 11 months when it’s released, remember that lots of blood, sweat and tears went into it…but not literally. Pinking only happened in the movie Bottle Shock.

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About Our Authors

George Blanckensee

An expert event planner and an avid basketball and sports fan, George can tell you about all the best off-the-beaten path eateries.

Kali Clark

A Napa Valley native, Kali returned to the area after a stint on the East Coast and can be found documenting the latest happenings at the Chateau. When not behind the camera, she likes to experiment in the kitchen, travel, and enjoy the outdoors