Thursday, October 13, 2016


        Just with the title, you might be thinking, “What?  What happened?” Well…  Let me tell you…..

        I broke the punchdown machine.  I’ve used it countless times before, during the past harvests, but somehow this time I managed to break it.  In the theme of safety, and how that’s a consistency here at Dutcher, I was safe elevated on the forklift, in a half-cage where the railing comes up to my waist.  So I knew I was safe.  Anyway, I was doing my punchdown, being a bit forceful with the cap of the cold-soaking wine, and the arm of the machine bucked hard to the left, nearly taking me with it.  Josh, our maintenance king, said there was a bit of metal fatigue, which makes me feel a little better, but either way it was a little funny that I, the owner of the winery, broke the puncher.  “It’s not your fault, Deb, it’s not your fault…” I keep telling myself.  They joke with me anyway, and I laugh with them.  Not that it could be helped, and certainly not expected, it just happened.  And I’m not the only one, mind you!  The machine has already been “broken”, I guess you could say, three times this harvest.  It’s been an interesting harvest, needless to say.  But, as I said when I restarted this blog, is that’s just what happens, and you have to laugh.  The machine’s working fine now, and everything is back to normal.  But it was a funny feeling telling my winemakers, “Uh, guys, I broke the punchdown machine.” Of course they gave me a joke and a jab, here and there.  And that’s expected, especially from Nick.  I think we found it funny as it happened so unexpectedly, and during harvest of all times.  Safety was in-place, but something happened.  “Oh well,” you have to say to yourself.  As a winery owner, this stuff’s gonna happen.  This may be my tenth harvest, but I’m still learning, and there’s still new experiences, some funny and some not.

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