A few notes from Dad about the First Day of Harvest. / by Keith Saarloos

The day before the pick....full of reflections on last years harvest

Grease the harvest trailers, tires full of air

Pick up harvest bins with 20 foot trailer....check

Find, clean and tow the fork lift to El CAMINO Real

Take the nets off the sav blanc

Call the pick crew to arrive at 6am

Don't forget the ice chest and fill with ice and water...day projects to be 100 degrees

Tractors fueled and ready to go?

Answer questions from keith, brad and Greg about their participatin...oh yes Brielle gets a day off of school today....she hits the start button with a poem for us to enjoy

Thursday...out of bed at 5, drive down to working barns to fill truck with diesel. Pedro and Alphonso have the yard and barns lights on.  The horses are being fed in the pitch dark

With cup of coffee in hand I drive to windmill gate at ECR and open the lock....cars start to arrive with the anticipation of harvest. Beautiful morning 60 degrees

We know it is going to be a long day...since this is our first harvest day we haven't slipped into our normal positions. We wanted for a pick crew of 16....only 10 arrive.  
We started slow but picked up our pace the third hour

Sav  Blanc grapes just don't want to be harvested.  Hiding under the leaves, same color green as the leaves and the clusters oh so small.  Thousands of pruner clips to harvest each ton of grapes

Well lookey here.......we are done, no lunch yet for any of us...just plenty of water to quench our thirsts.  Trucks are loaded with harvest bins, strapped down and head up Highway 101.

Winery is ready for us....grapes dumped into elevator to be put in the huge grape press.

Harvest day is done....it is always a sigh of relief when the grapes are being processed......but the best sight of the day was....the huge smile on Keith's face!!!!!!   He is already thinking about those special bottles of wine Saarloos and Sons and the Saarloos boys will be selling in years to come.

Lots of harvest days left for 2013.