harvesting grapes

Wine Harvest 2021

About the Founder

Brooke Martin, founder of The Brooke Blend, started her wine blog in 2016 as a creative outlet and passion for wine. Over the years it has grown into a full-time gig allowing her to quit her corporate job and focus solely on the wine industry. Having a wine blog and Instagram platform has given her an opportunity to showcase her creative side through wine writing and has evolved into steady consulting work and ongoing brand partnerships. She holds her WSET 3 Certification and plans to continue her wine education through the WSET Diploma program in the future. Brooke has an adoration for boutique wineries and loves to share those hidden gems with her audience.

Working Harvest

Brooke traveled this past fall to work harvest with Winemaker, Terah Bajjalieh, and cellar crew at Dorcich Family Vineyard in Gilroy, California. Each day started at 6:00 AM and many days extended into a 12+ hour day. Exhaustion was an understatement but an experience she describes as memorable and rewarding. Working harvest and experiencing the process of ‘vine to wine’ gives a new appreciation to the work that goes into a single bottle of wine. 

A typical day starts out with testing the sugar levels in the wines, from grapes that have already been picked, sorted and sent to the tank. Other daily tasks included sorting grapes to remove MOG (matter other than grapes), pumping over-the process of taking juice from the bottom of the tank and pumping it up to the top, wetting the cap, which helps extract color and tannins. Pressing the wine is also an important step, separating the grape juice from the solid pieces of the grape. Racking wine from tank to barrel was one of Brooke’s favorite jobs…cleaning out the lees (dead yeast and grape fragments) afterwards, not so much. Cleaning is a big part of winemaking and harvest. It is important to ensure all machinery and equipment is clean to eliminate any bacteria. Brooke highly recommends working harvest to get a full understanding of the winemaking process and hard work that goes into it. 

Brooke is based out of Salt Lake City, UT and travels regularly to wine regions, particularly in California. When she isn’t drinking wine, she enjoys spending time with her family, running & hiking, and using her downtime to catch up on the latest sporting events. You can follow along on her wine adventures through her website, www.thebrookeblend.com and Instagram @thebrookeblend. She keeps it light and fun with her genuine take on wines.

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