Harvest season in the wine industry is hot, thirsty work. The vines are covered with a summer's worth of dust, and inhabited by black widow spiders and other crawling, climbing, biting insects. Workers who peel back the bird netting draped over the vines have the pleasure of removing dead birds, squirrels and possums entangled in the net. Driving the tractors which tow the picking bins up and down the rows is hot work too, and bees follow the picking bins in swarms, lying thick on top of the sweet, sticky grapes.
In the winery itself, cellarmen drag heavy hoses from one tank to another, even up onto the catwalks, so wine can be pumped up to the top of a tank and sluiced over the grapeskins floating near the top. Others are standing inside fermentation tanks, shoveling out the heavy pomace, the residual grapeskins left after the wine has been pumped off. Everything needs cleaning, all the time. Tanks, barrels, buckets, hoses, fittings---everything is washed, brushed, scoured and sanitized in a continual war against nasty organisms and fruit flies.
This time of year, you are likely to find local winemakers enjoying a hot dinner at Papi's Mexican restaurant, arguing the merits of various yeasts with a hot tostada in one hand and a cold beer in the other. Cellarmen and winemakers sit in the shade at the end of the day with--you guessed it, a cold beer. The cellar refrigerators hold equal parts of yeast, bottled wine samples, steaks, and beer.