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!