The first pick of the vintage is always a time of celebration. Most years we pick our Estate Chardonnay first, and 2012 was no exception. The usual practice is to get all the employees from the vineyard, cellar, tasting room and office, along with families and hand harvest the fruit. Combining a big crew with just one acre of Chardonnay adds up to finishing early and a big communal breakfast. The fresh pressings are blended in with some bubbly for a very special mimosa.
You can't drink Champagne all harvest long though. The long hot days leading into working nights leads the winemaker to beer. Having a lower proof drink avoids the embarrassment of waking up on the cellar floor or crush pad the next morning. For this harvest I'm going to document all the beers that pass through the cellar fridge. From top to bottom, good and bad. The obvious choice for starting off the vintage in celebratory mood was of course The Champagne of Beers!
Miller High Life, while no critical darling, is a wonderful easy drinking beer. The key here is extremely light flavors and nothing obviously off putting. A beer that you can't really say anything bad about, but then again, you can't say anything really good about it either. After cleaning the press and racking the chard must to a settling tank, the refreshment was palpable. Overall, this was not a horrible way to start the beers of 2012 harvest.