Yesterday we actually got started right at 7:30 and had enough people so that it seemed to go much more smoothly than the previous day. You see, the bottler shows up with his truck, the machines, etc. but we have to provide all of the labor. Since our situation is less than ideal, meaning that we don't have a proper winery, and the layout isn't at all what it should be, it makes for a lot more work. Yesterday we had 11 people, at times 12, so it was a piece of cake. (ha ha ha) We finished in 3 hours!
As I said we have converted part of our house into the store area for the wine. The cellar floor hasn't been cemented (due to lack of money in the budget!) so it's river rock, meaning that you can't
drive a fork lift in there, meaning that we had to stack
2000 6-bottle cases by hand onto the pallets. I say "we" but it was mostly Matt and the other strong guys we managed to round up.
That's one of the biggest challenges, doing this on a shoe-string budget, makes it that you sometimes have double, even triple the work. We got some good ideas though, of how to make it work more smoothly next year. And for now we're just savouring the moment with great satisfaction, knowing that vintage number one is now safely in bottle, and just waiting to be tasted by all of you!