Temperamental Forklifts

One of the two forklifts at the winery is a bit tricky. Both the forklifts are powered by compressed natural gas, so they’re a bit louder than the electric ones, and one of them (the yellow one) stalls if the revs get too low. This can be especially frustrating when you’re in a tight space like the barrel hall and you’re trying to maneuver the thing backwards without knocking into anything (aka slowly and carefully). It also can be a bit of a pain to start. Our winemaker insists she just needs a bit of coaxing, especially first thing in the morning.

I got my NZ forklift certification on Wednesday and since then I’ve been spending a fair bit of time on both the forklifts, as well as sorting fruit, cleaning and sulfuring barrels, cleaning tanks, and running lab work. Harvest has officially started.


The sorting table here is off the ground, so we tip the fruit onto it using the big orange forklift, then use a rake to bring the fruit down in a single layer. At the bottom of the table, it goes through a destemmer and then into bins. The bins are sulfured and moved into a chiller to cool down before being taken inside and tipped into a tank.


Yesterday I spent some time sulfuring barrels, which involves lighting quite a pretty piece of paper on fire and putting it into the barrel to burn.


They look a bit like incense, but don’t be fooled. These guys pack a punch. Don’t worry, Mom–I was wearing proper safety gear.


I’ve been getting some good runs in while I’m here. It’s really a beautiful country. I’m also starting to make some two-legged friends, as well as a few more four-legged ones. Since I didn’t have a picture of the other winery dog, Bede, to include in my last post, here’s a gratuitous cute dog shot:


That’s all for now! Enjoy this picture that I took while out for a morning run day before yesterday.



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