My girlfriend is pursuing her sommelier certification, and as a side-effect, we donated some time this last weekend picking some grapes for a little winery called Lift Haus in Prince Edward County. Yeah, they haven't picked the best name. (Lift Haus doesn't make German wine, and as far as German alcohol goes, I'm a much bigger fan of their beer!) It's a very small scale family run operation that makes half-way decent wines, and they really need help. So we helped.
The experience of crouching down in the field all day, picking grapes in the hot sun, made me truly appreciate a glass of wine, and all the hard work and love that goes into each one. Between the two of us, I calculated that we picked about 60 bottles of wine's worth of grapes--all day's work for a single row of vines. What a lot of back-breaking work it was!
Just in case I forget, remind me the next time I open a bottle that it took hours of labour and love to bring that wine to my lips. I've got a new appreciation!