This rat is now full time

Hola amigos, long time since I rapped at ya I know but I’ve been knee deep in lees and other winery muck.

But the good news: the fine fellows over at Starmont have brought me on full time. Now I can say I’m part of the wine industry and that profile photo of me on The Team page looks a little less pretentious.

I can’t say how much of a relief it was to hear that I was getting a full time gig. Especially in this economy and for someone whose career background is a little limited in terms of wine. But I worked my ass off during harvest and in the months after, crossed my fingers and it turned out OK. When I was hired, I was told I was going to be done after Thanksgiving, then it changed to the end of January and then Feb. 17. Well, on Feb. 15 they told me I had a full time job.

It’s been a crazy few months but now everything is looking much more settled. I’m going to keep doing cellar work for the meantime but when we get into this year’s harvest I’m going to be doing lab work and act as a liason to the winery’s custom crush clients.

Thinking about where I am now as opposed to last year, I find it a little wild. I’m also struck by the host of odd little skills I’ve picked up after working for almost a year in the cellar. Skills like:

• Hose wrangling, I can coil a hose or wire in a tight spool like a champ.

• Climbing or walking on barrels. When I first started at Starmont, I was afraid of heights. Now I don’t hesitate to jump on a barrel rack and scramble 30 to 40 feet high.

• A heightened appreciation for air pressure and fluid dynamics. When you’re transferring 12,000 gallons of Cabernet from one tank to another you better make sure it’s going to get there.

• The many joys of sulphur, or azufre. Purely sarcastic here, sulfur is some nasty stuff be it in power, gas or liquid form.

And plenty of other interesting little bits of knowledge too. (Like how invaluable Avery waterproof labels are to wine production.)

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