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March 1, 2006

Back to hand made wines

You never know how much you use your left hand till you hurt it.
And we didn’t know how important continuously available electricity was till we didn’t have it.
We had a rolling series of electricity outs from Monday to Friday last week.
When the Chenin Blanc juice was being chilled to settle before barreling.
When Pinotage skins had to be pressed. When Semillon grape crates were stacked in the cold room and we wanted to chill them.
In 5 days, we had 10 power cuts.
You would flick the pump switch and nothing would happen.
You would be noting the temperature drop and then hear the cooling plant stop.
Once we heard that we, and most of the wine country, would have no power from 6.30pm to 8.30 pm, so we planned nothing for that time. And at 6.45, the lights went out and the cooling plant stopped. So the advice was nearly spot on. But all of the others just happened.
What happened?
We have 2 power utilities in this area. One is broken, being fixed. The other is due for an overhaul and just stopped. Till they could get more power from the national grid, we got rations. I haven’t told you about the bottling plants that stopped, the label and carton makers that froze.
Since Saturday, the power is normal. Just like winemaking.

Posted by graham knox at March 1, 2006 12:11 PM

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