Saturday, February 07, 2009

Bottled, Boxed and Moving On

As our small team bottled around 200 cases of Rousanne and Rose this morning, I couldn't help but be reminded of a question posed by my Geography professor last semester: "Why haven't humans been replaced by machines?" Mostly, I was trying to figure out why we voluntarily squeezed into Caleb's truck of bottling gadgets for five hours, knees stiffening and shoulders tensing, on such a beautiful Berkeley weekend morning. My professor's overarching lesson had been that machines are inanimate, unintelligent, and susceptible to breaking down. Though I couldn't help but feel like a simple cog in the wheel as I systematically wiped off capped bottles and moved them down to the labeling station, I did feel like our team effort and rhythm was much more efficient than any machine. Although, I must admit that Caleb's rotating pourer and high-pressure capping machines that complemented our human assembly line did have a somewhat fascinating Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory appeal to them.

Our hands-on role in the bottling process also allowed us to personally say goodbye and gain some closure with our baby wines before sending them off to the real world. And I must say, the golden Rousanne and blushing Rose both look quite handsome. After the day's work was finished, we tasted their love child--the mix that was created in the pump as we transitioned from Rousanne to Rose. And the punchy result was surprisingly palatable. Perhaps we accidentally stumbled upon a new blend possibility?

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