Temperatures in the vineyard this morning teetered below 14 degrees. The forecast for Napa Valley, where many California wines are grown, was 72 degrees. We’re not complaining. Indiana winters give us amazing opportunities to be creative — both in winemaking, and in dress. The colder it is outside, the more we prepare ourselves for the eight hours of labor ahead. A blistering cold morning keeps us on our toes all day. And for some of us really creative types, it keeps our drinking water in a sock:
Of course we know about layers. We were born in ’em. Carhartt? Yeah, we exchange Christmas cards every year. We all have overalls. Ross wears the arctic ones he bought out of desperation, and tucks them into his arctic boots that can sustain negative 30 degree temperatures, according to the box. That ought to do it out here.
A typical vineyard worker’s layers are as follows: 4-5 shirts, including thermals, vests and sweats; long johns under pants under overalls; vineyard boots, plus an extra pair of waterproof boots, similar to a mail carrier’s; hand and foot warmers sandwiched between two pairs of gloves and two pairs of socks; a hat; and usually something to cover the face.
One might assume we drink lots of locally grown, estate bottled wine to keep warm. Actually, just tea, mostly. Chai is our fav.
Oh, and we don’t get very good cell reception out here. Or Internet reception. Too cold. In fact, we’ve replaced all our smart phones with smart wool: