Everyone knows pairing music with a beautiful glass of wine makes the atmosphere happier. But did you know that playing music while making wine helps our hardworking team of winemakers and interns keep their energy going and their spirits up? Each year our harvest team show us how personal our music choices can be, similar to our wine preferences; eclectic with no rules.

“Days don’t really start or end during harvest; music is for the people, by the people. Whoever connected to the Bluetooth first got to pick what was playing,” replied Assistant Winemaker, Aaron Fox. “Somedays would start with someone blasting house music at 8 am. other days the Reserve Winery crew would come down and start a Bob Seger rock block.”

So the question we asked our 2021 harvest crew: What music helped get you through the long days and nights? And with that, we were quickly inundated with songs and artists from all genres. Grab a glass of wine and start dancing, humming and sipping to the songs that made the top ten for the 2021 Vintage!

  1. Sleep Forever’ by Portugal The Man because at times, I really felt like I could sleep forever. Assistant Winemaker, Aaron Fox
  2. My favorite songs to listen to while working would be anything by Lizzo. The high energy would help me power through my day; they are great songs for dancing and dig outs. Harvest Intern, Rachel
  3. I will never be able to hear Enter the Dragon by Zero and not think about press cleans. Harvest Intern, Becky H.
  4. For early mornings, work order writing, and generally good for that liminal space in the AM before caffeine starts working: Charles Mingus – Mood Indigo  Production Winemaker, Karl Weichold
  5. The mid 2000’s jam Hollaback Girl by Gwen Stefani is always my go-to for dig outs. Enologist, Madison Lyons
  6. To get my morning drive off to a good start I would go with Harvest Moon by Poolside, it’s always a good day starter!!  Bottling Operator/Maintainer, Jon
  7. Quiet Ferocity by The Jungle Giants will remind me of the best harvest ever, 2021! I hope my amazing cellar team always thinks of me when they hear this song. Harvest Intern, Karli K
  8. I’ll toss in a favorite of mine from the “sunny side up” playlist, Benny and the Jets by Elton John. Harvest Intern, Jaden C.
  9. Made by Eddie Zuko  Cellar Hand, Adam M.
  10.  The Way Home by Mo Lowda & the Humble  Cellar Master, Taylor VanBergen

Winemaker Wrap-Up

We caught up with Vice President of Winemaking, Melissa Burr, and Director of Winemaking Operations, Ben Howe, to hear their thoughts on this season’s harvest and what they listen to while making the wine we all know and love.

“The 2021 Harvest was a successful vintage for so many reasons. Starting with the big boss, Mother Nature was benevolent to us in the Willamette Valley. We had a warm spring and summer that continued through the final weeks of ripening in the vineyard. During harvest, sunny days with cold nights were perfect for developing flavors in the grapes and keeping the natural acidity high, which are critical components for quality wines. Our vineyard and production teams worked hard to make sure everything came together, all the while with good vibes going during the long days. Overall, this vintage was a huge win, and we can’t wait to share delicious glasses of 2021 wines with you.”

“Music can inspire such a wide variety of moods, creativity, and motivation. Specific to harvest, it’s always hip hop for me. Spotify’s hip-hop BBQ is the station of choice when I need to feel inspired. Now that the 2021 vintage is coming to an end, I can’t wait for the day I can sip this wine and listen to Blue Skies by Willie Nelson.” ~ Vice President Winemaker, Melissa Burr

“Harvest was great this year, and I would describe it as fast and furious. We got some unexpected cooler windows during the growing season that were a welcomed relief. The yield was light overall, which typically translates more concentration and flavors in the fruit. The challenge is to create wines that retain freshness, and I think the team did a great job with this.”

“The music I listen to always depends on my mood. In the cellar, I’ll listen to Afrobeat or Hard-Rock. When I’m wine tasting, I want something with a Jazzy downtempo. As I think about this vintage, the theme song would be You Can’t Always Get What You Want by The Rolling Stones.” ~ Director of Winemaking Operations, Ben Howe