Foley Sonoma winemaker, Courtney Foley was kind enough to respond to our mid-harvest harassment and answer five questions for our blog. Not only does she get a gold star for being responsive while knee-deep in fermenting grapes, but she's giving us some great insight into the life of a very busy winemaker.
1. What's your drink of choice during harvest?
BEER! My go-to brewery is North Coast, which has my two favorite brews: Scrimshaw and Red Seal Ale. Scrimshaw for the more manageable, lighter, frothier days; Red Seal packs more of a punch for the days that do a better job of kicking me sideways.
2. Favorite local breakfast spot/what you order?
My favorite treat for processing days is to get Healdsburg's Downtown Creamery's Sticky Buns. They are flat out delicious, easy to eat on the go, and are hot and ready at 6am on weekdays!
3. What is your harvest uniform?
I take inspiration from Mark Zuckerberg and wear, t-shirts, jeans and zip ups. Only difference is I wear my work boots, but I like to think Mark would approve.
4. Do you have any harvest rituals?
We do a champagne toast at the end of harvest as a thank you to my great team and the beautiful grapes that really do all the heavy lifting. Otherwise, I just make sure to fall asleep sitting on my couch with my dinner on my lap at least 5 times per harvest. So far, I'm up to 3 couch fades, and am looking forward to the next two (and hopefully more)!
5. Best/worst part of being a winemaker during harvest?
Even though there are times when I wish I could stop running through different lots and stressing over ferments, I really love harvest. I get to spend a ton of time in the vineyard, and then get to usher beautiful fruit into the winery, process it and then watch it transform before my eyes. It's a labor of love and completely fulfilling. Most of the time I can't believe that walking around in vineyards, doing punch downs, and tasting fermenting juice find their way into my daily harvest agenda, but am really happy they all do.