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When everything is done, when you crack open a bottle, – do you know what you are drinking?  How ‘transparent’ is that wine?  The literal, but even more so the metaphorical transparency is partly a question of quality and ingredients, but also one of labour issuew, – sho did which step of the work and at what price?

The quality issue is highly regulated and it is taking us a lot of phone calls and research to figure out what needs to be reported: Moving any grape-related liquid seems to be highly risk-prone, as it requires lots of forms, but that’s just an aside.

What I feel comfortable commenting on, based on the insights I have had, is the first issue, the quality issue:  has sugar been added; how much  sulphur has been added; how do I know?  Do all the grapes come from one patch?  Do I want the grapes of my wine to be mixed (for a better taste)?  Or does it make me suspicious of the quality.

The second issue, which labour is used at what price, for me, is still a big ‘I don’t know’.  The use of Eastern European labour seems common place around us, but at what conditions, is unclear.  Talk to our friends who come along for a day in the vineyard and they might have their own view as to whether ‘it was worth it’.

harvest grape bucket grapes

taking leaves off grapes vines

Taking the cover (or, in this case, the leaves) off….

vines, leaves taken off grooming grapes

… to reveal what’s underneath. (The last two pictures show the same vine before and after I took the leaves off manually. – A couple of hundres more vines to go…..)

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