VinePair, one of the largest digital media companies delivering accessible, entertaining, and inspiring content about drinks culture and important trends and topics in wine and other adult beverages, recently featured Bells Up winemaker Dave Specter in a round up article for Harvest 2022. “We Asked 10 Winemakers: What’s the One Thing You Can’t Live Without During Harvest?,” written by Mark Stock, recently published online.
Harvest season is here, and for vintners, that means long days at the winery turning fruit into something special. It’s that once-in-a-year stretch that brings joy, headaches, sore backs, stained hands, and, ultimately, another vintage of wine.
Because it’s a marathon of sorts, winemakers depend on all kinds of things to see harvest through. Some don the same lucky shirt they’ve worn since they got into the trade while others rely on a great playlist or their favorite form of caffeine. As you might imagine, high-energy foods and comfortable clothing are typically in the mix. When you work 30-plus days straight, often well into the wee hours, you need multiple pick-me-ups.
As the wine world hauls in vintage 2022 (at least in the Northern Hemisphere), we asked a handful of winemakers all over the globe a pressing question: What’s the one thing you can’t live without during harvest?
For his contribution, Dave waxed poetic about his go-to workwear: his Oompa-Loompa suit (as Sara calls it), pictured above.
“During harvest, there’s absolutely one thing I cannot live without. It’s what my wife Sara affectionately (I think) calls my ‘oompa loompa suit.’ This smashing ensemble consists of an old orange hoodie worn under my brown, chest-high waders. Since we’re a micro-boutique operation, I shovel and bucket must from inside the fermenter directly into the press wearing this incredibly stylish outfit. I also wear it for all the cleaning we do. There’s a lot of hot water being sprayed, but the majority of me stays dry in this utilitarian fashion statement. I avoid the green curly hair and I don’t sing songs that teach morality lessons, but otherwise, I can’t argue the resemblance.” —Dave Specter, winemaker, Bells Up Winery, Willamette Valley, Ore.
In case you’re wondering, only one other Willamette Valley winery was included (the amazing Anne Hubatch at Helioterra who sings the praises of warm wool socks from her hometown in Wisconsin). Clothes aren’t the only thing that make the winemaker during harvest. Others pointed to food, coffee, phones, sweets, and music. No Oompa-Loompa music, however.
As for harvest 2022 progress, we’ve completed the picks, pressed the white wines, and will start pressing the first four estate pinot noirs tomorrow. So Dave will be spending a lot of time in his favorite harvest outfit. After this weekend we will again be open for private wine tasting appointments. Contact us to book yours today!