Damn, They Work Hard!

Damn this girl works hard!!


This is Annette Hoff. She GMs and makes the wine at Cima Collina Winery near Monterey. Her background is Saintsbury, New Zealand pinot production, Sterling Vineyards and Estancia.

What she’s doing here is punching down! This is the least fun work in a winery I’ve ever performed and I’ve done most winery work at least once. This is the thing I vowed never to do again. Punching down that cap of grape skins and juice and such to extract color and texture and flavor simply hurts too much. I’d rather stand on a bottling line and drop bottles into cases for 4 hours than punch down for 15 minutes.

I met Annette when I she working to open Cima Collina. We did some PR and marketing and writing and design work for her. One of the things we helped her do was get her blog up and running. I count Annette as one of my success stories because I think she maintains a blog that does one of the best jobs around of conveying the daily life of a winery in blog format.

The wines she makes are amazing also. She doesn’t send them out for review much…She really doesn’t have to. Between the hard work she and her crew have put in making them and selling them locally and with the the blog and with the new tasting room in Carmel she’s doing just fine.

However, that said, I most definitely want to watch Gary Vaynerchuk review her wines on Wine Library TV. In fact, shouldn’t Gary do a show on Blogging Winemakers and their wines???? That’s another post..or at least an e-mail.

The point, though, is winemakers and this time of year. These folks are working there asses off right now, particularly at small wineries like Cima Collina where it’s a very small crew doing hands on work. They are getting home late. They are producing miles of brow line worrying about the weather. Their hands are dark purple…permanently…and…god bless them…they are punching down.

This is the time of year we drinkers think of as the most romantic and anticipatory when it comes to our wine habit. So as you think about how great this time of year is, it being harvest and all, say a little prayer for all those winemakers and cellar rats who are up at 2am in the morning punching down so you can drink it down.

Posted In: Wine Business


2 Responses

  1. winehiker - October 10, 2007

    Amen, Tom. Winemakers, y’all rock our worlds!!!

  2. Annette - October 11, 2007

    Thanks all around Tom — talk about making a girl blush! When one is in the middle of it all it is easy to question if it is worth it — but it is definitely worth it when folks appreciate the end product. Best, Annette

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