An Exceptional Harvest
This was supposed to be the year we integrated ourselves with all aspects of Oatley viticulture, twins running around the vines while we work, grandparents babysitting, that kind of thing. Obviously 2020 had other plans.
One thing that we were able to help with, and have been doing for a couple of years, is running the harvests. They are always a friends and family event, with a wonderful mix of long time veterans returning more times than anyone can count, and some relative newbies who all enjoy the escapism afforded by the secluded vineyard and a day picking grapes. This year it was all the more significant, an opportunity to escape the pandemic craziness and feel somewhat normal in a naturally COVID secure setting (conveniently the rows are 2m apart – perfectly distanced!).
We consider ourselves fairly progressive parents but thought arming 20 month old Edith and Albert with secateurs and pointing them at the grapes was maybe a bit irresponsible, though they ably demonstrated the ability to harvest by hand and eat the proceeds. Instead they appointed themselves as quality control and sampled grapes from each tub as they were loaded on to the trailer, checking they made the grade.
This was perhaps one year where the occasion mattered more than the grapes, the grapes were good, it was an exceptional harvest.