One thing that being at a winery almost every day, is that you begin to see it more and more as a farm, as compared to the finished bottles most people think of when a winery is mentioned.

As I arrived at the winery this morning, the normal early morning calm was replaced by a large crew harvesting the vineyard in front of the winery by hand. As they swarmed through the vineyard you could not help but be reminded that those same hands had also picked the marionberries, apples, tomatoes and all the other fruits and vegetables that the rich soils of the Willamette Valley grow. It is hard work for little pay and the pickers are exclusively immigrants from various Spanish speaking countries south of the United States. For them, the grapes are no more romantic than any of the other crops they have sweated over during the course of the year.

Despite its pure agricultural birth, wine has transcended all other farm products and become romantic and collectible. A product people are willing to argue heatedly about on dozens of wine discussion forums. Those men and women, who were out in the vineyard at dawn, would think that quite funny.