A day behind the scenes at a winery

As a tech worker living in the city, I am always on the lookout for real-world activities that bring me in closer contact with the land. Last weekend I heeded a call for volunteers to help bring in the last harvest of the year at a local vineyard. Thoroughly mesmerized by the experience, I wrote up my thoughts. Teaser below:

I grab a bin and start grappling with the grapes. Some pluck off easily just using my hands, other bunches need to be extricated with a few swift knife strokes. The crew leader is Pedro, in charge of driving the tractor and herding us from one section of vines to the next. Pedro is a grape picking machine, reaching into the vines and rat-a-tat filling his bin. My progress is weak in comparison, but I pick up the pace and get into a zen state. We are peaceful locusts, swarming the vines and leaving leaf bits and vine twigs in our wake.