Friday, August 22, 2008

Training Camp

I really like red wine, red meat, and a big piece of sourdough bread covered with butter and olive oil. Combine that with a day job that mostly involves conference calls and emails and its easy to get a little out of breath hiking up the steep vineyard hills on weekends.

Last year before harvest though I knew I wasn't going to be able to do 15 and 16 hour days of hard activity with out a little prep work. Fortunately there is a little gym at work and I spent a lot of time on the Expresso Bike before harvest started. I felt pretty good as we went through harvest. I'd get tired for sure, but never exhausted.

This year I actually decided to start 'training camp' a little earlier, and Stefania joined in. For the next 6 to 8 weeks we'll be visiting the gym 3-4 times a week and trying to get in a long bike ride or hike on Sunday's. Harvest is a lot of work. The long days are all on your feet, and hiking through the vineyards. On a harvest day I may lift the 30 pound picking boxes 300-400 times in a day, including up over my head and into the crusher. It takes a lot of muscle stamina to keep doing that.

So that's what we'll be focusing on. Building stamina, repetitive strength and endurance. The Total time of harvest, from first pick through final pressing, will last about 10 weeks. It's a little bit like a football season. 6-8 weeks of 'camp', then 10-11 weeks of 'season'. There will be bumps and bruises along the way and at the end, we'll need a good rest!


Stefania said...

While you were in the winery prepping for bottling this week I was off in my own little world walking the rows to see how the vineyard is coming along.

One of the things I was thinking about while dropping secondaries and brix testing was the term "camp". As in, vineyard camp.

Then my thoughts wandered off to such things as space camp, cheerleading camp, various sports camps. I wondered when these activities that don't require a sleeping bag came to be called camp. Is it really camp if you don't have a duffel bag, pillow, tent/cabin, and sleeping bag?

Would going to the spa for a lengthy day of treatments be called "restorative health camp"?
"Body Wellness Camp"?

Gotta run, Coffee Camp is starting...

Paul Romero said...

I could make you sleep in the vineyard in a slepping bag if that would make it more like 'camp' :)