Laura Booras: I absolutely love fall at Riverbench because the vines change color and the sunsets are just gorgeous. It’s a beautiful time in the vineyard, too, because it’s harvest! I love meeting the harvest crews and tasting grapes with Clarissa.
Clarissa Nagy: During harvest I start the day meeting with the crew. Then it’s off to the winery to process the fruit and check on the lots in house. I run sugars and temperatures to track fermentation. I smell each tank and barrel every day. Once the fruit comes in, I look forward to the smell of fermentation in the winery. It is such an amazing experience. If you haven’t yet visited a winery during harvest, I highly recommend it.
Laura: An average day for me might include walking vineyard rows, delivering cases of wine, hosting a wine writer, or doing paperwork. I need to have clothing that is versatile and easy to clean. Inevitably on the days I wear heels I end up needing to be in the vineyard, that’s just the way it goes. But I’m most comfortable in jeans, cowboy boots, and a light jacket.
Clarissa: Even when I am working hard, I still like to look my best. I’m often in jeans just for the ease of carrying case boxes or lifting cellar hoses. A scarf and jewelry are always within reach to grab before a last minute tour or meeting. I do wear dresses and skirts, but not usually during harvest. However, I have been known to jump on the forklift to unload a truck in my skirt and boots when duty calls!
Laura: You can never know everything about wine. Winemaking styles, viticulture, grapes, and land; these things are different from wine to wine. You can learn themes and typicity, but there is always something that might throw you off and make you think.
Clarissa: Riverbench is planted on an ancient riverbed. There are portions that are sandy and portions that have clay. The sand provides good drainage for the vines and a silky tannin structure in the wines. The clay contributes to a darker color and more dense flavors.
Laura: I always end the day with a glass of something delicious and inspiring, and a good talk to get things off my chest.
Clarissa: What I love most about wine is that it is a living, breathing substance. Each wine has its own personality and character. It’s my job to draw it out for all to experience.