The Burgundy Diaries: 10/6/04 Men in Undies

Posted on: November 19th, 2004 by

The pneumatic press that they use to punch down the cap that forms on the top of the grapes broke, so we are doing piegage by hand. The most difficult work ever. Because they ferment in open tanks, a cap of grapes gets pushed to the top by the CO2 produced by fermentation. So we climb up ladders and then stand on top of 10,000 liter steel tanks and lay a piece of wood across it and take these plungers with about a six-foot handle and punch through the cap so juice rises to the top. Some of them are so tough you have to strip to your underwear and walk on the cap and punch it down with your feet. And it is so fucking hot at the top of these huge caps and all I can think about is falling to my death. It is exhausting work…sweat pouring out of me. But when we are all on top of the tanks we just joke with each other and laugh. Lots of homoeroticism, especially when people are in their skivvies. If we didn’t joke and laugh we would be hating life.


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