Sat 19 Sep 2009
These last few days have been interesting. We had an agreement with a driver to pickup our fruit from our different vineyard sources and bring them to Artifex. We’ve used this person last year and we really like him.
This year, unfortunately, he’s left us high and dry in the middle of harvest and we’ve had to scramble at the last minute to find a replacement. Luckily, the people in Walla Walla are very helpful and after spending the better part of Thursday on phone calls and emails, we found someone to pickup our DuBrul Merlot.
We were scheduled for second pick this morning meaning that we would have our fruit picked by 12:30pm. John, our new driver (quite a character, I liked him right away), called to let me know that he showed up on time. Great. It was huge relief to find a driver at the last minute and it felt good knowing that he was actually there with our bins.
I called back at 2pm to see how things were going – they were in the middle of picking our fruit. What? That’s not what I expected to hear. Artifex was expecting to process the fruit between 2-3pm.
What happened? I’m not quite sure but it seems that the winery scheduled before us didn’t bother showing up until 12:30pm and that caused logistic problems for the vineyard.
I wasn’t too happy about picking our fruit in the middle of the afternoon. Furthermore, Artifex was hoping to close by 5pm. With DuBrul 110 miles away, there was no way John was going to make it back with our fruit before 5pm.
We called Andrew, the General Manager at Artifex, right away and apprised him of the situation. Luckily, he was understanding and was willing to keep his staff longer so our fruit could get sorted, destemmed and crushed. That was a relief – I didn’t want to keep the fruit in cold storage overnight.
Finally, at 3:30pm, we get a call saying that the fruit is on its way.
Of course, there was one final worry- it was drizzling in Walla Walla and more showers were predicted. Our driver didn’t have any tarp to put over the grapes so we just kept our fingers crossed.
Luckily, no rain. The fruit came in at 5:30pm and Artifex took about an hour and a half to process it.
In the end, after a lot of worry, we ended up getting 3 tons of some wonderful Merlot.