Thursday, March 18, 2010

Big changes, big challenges

Winemaking has offered me many unique experiences, travel opportunities and a world-wide network of friends. In 3 years I worked 7 vintages in 4 countries before finally settling down at The Winery 2 years ago.

I've stayed in 5 star hotels in Laguna Beach for wine tastings, while wearing a coat I bought at a Hospice shop during vintage 2005 in New Zealand. I've taken jump shots in front of a giant kiwi and a Grand Canyon. I've been chatted up in languages I did not understand. I've celebrated more holidays than I know existed, and am still undecided which one in which country I liked best.

Drea (Cool Kiwi), Silvia (Loco Amiga) + me (boertjie) swimming in winetank with hot water in freezing Marlborough, NZ.
I've stomped grapes, rolled barrels bigger than I am, fitted into spaces that I thought not possible, and swum in a wine tank. I've worked day shifts, night shifts and no shifts, ending the day only when the work is done. During vintages I've lost weight, my temper, my mind, my motivation...but you stick it out because the whole team feels the same pressure.

Winemaking has enabled me to mix with rich and affluent, but also to teach and train illiterate staff, my current team being the most eager and dedicated I've ever worked with. It's taken me 2 long years of hard work and constantly proving to them that they can trust me, and that I can do the same work that I expect them to do.

Thus, as you can imagine, it is with great emotion that I resigned today from my position as assistant winemaker. Yikes. Seeing it in writing is scary - no more rockstar winemaker wannabe for me.

Though I love being in the cellar, and the mysterious chemistry of making wine, I've been offered a fantastic opportunity, doing what I love in my spare time, and getting paid for it! I know, I still cannot believe it either, and with all the hustle and bustle of harvest going on, I haven't really had chance to think about the big turn-about this decision will have in my life.

All I can think about now is manicures and pedicures (no more wine stained hands!) and pretty clothes (no more t-shirts and gumboots!) and being allowed to wear perfume (no risk of interfering with any tastings!).

High fives all around!
xxx your favourite mechanic


Jane Winebox said...

I heart the new and improved blog Marina! Keep writing I love hearing about your adventures!


Being Brazen said...

So what are you going to be doing?