3 reps of 2 set. 5 minutes rest. Repeat. There is no need for a gym contract while working in the cellar. Upon completion of my first harvest I felt fit, strong and healthy. As the grapes arrive I jump unto a barrel and start scraping the berries out manually with a plastic fork exercising my calves and biceps. After tons of berries has successfully been loaded into the press, I jump off the barrel and start mixing yeast. The more grapes you have, the more juice you will have and the more yeast is needed. I mix and mix and mix exercising my fore arm muscles with the image of Popeye popping in to my brain more often that wished for.
After the lag phase of the yeast is completed I move on to exercising my gluteus and thighs, carrying up 2 buckets of 20kg each up the stairs to the lifted red wine fermentation tanks. I add the yeast, take a breath and run down the stairs to bring up the next two buckets of yeast. Up and down the stairs, 3 reps of 2 sets.
After the yeast is added, I exercise my brain. Each day monitoring fermentation by taking sugars and temperatures and neatly updating fermentation graphs. A brief rest is taken as the moon shines in the sky. As the sun rises I’m already doing cardio, running through the vines and picking grapes. The whole cycle starts again. Not to mention the sun-bed free tan the sun offers.
Pump overs offer colour extraction not only to the fermenting red grapes, but also to my glowing cheeks. Moving juice filled pipes from tank to tank to successfully wet all red grapes tones my back whilst increasing wine quality. 3 reps of 2 sets.
After fermentation, I carry on to experience my abs on the bottling line. Bend down, pick up bottles, do a slight twist and place the bottles on the bottling line. Over and over and over again. As bottling finishes, six freshly bottled bottles are packed into a wine box and sorted neatly in a big warehouse, offering my biceps a good challenge. 3 reps of 2 sets. Repeat.
Harvest is a crazy, adrenaline, endorphin filled period. Running on excitement and very little sleep is what every winemaker and intern goes through while making wine. For me, the biggest perk was the free workout the cellar offered. A daily full body workout whilst exercising your brain and enriching yourself with hands-on knowledge of making wine, being a harvest intern eating guilt free lunches and enjoying much deserved ice cold beer, is a privilege.