We got some fruit in from Jemrose Vineyard today - Merlot. One of the bummer things about Merlot (which I learnt today having never worked on it before) is that the rachis (a cluster of grapes minus the grapes) is very brittle and breaks up into little bits that we call "jacks" when the clusters pass through the de-stemmer.
Unfortunately our de-stemmer lets these "jacks" fall through into the newly de-stemmed fruit. So what is one to do? Well pick them out by hand! Here you can see Pete, one of my fellow interns, and Michael Browne, the head winemaker, sitting under the de-stemmer and picking out "jacks". Imagine sugar syrup and twigs dropping on your head for an hour and you can imagine how much fun we were having!
Thank god, Beer o'clock rolled around two hours earlier!