If you walk into our cellar during the harvest period, you are entering a happy but noisy place. There is always some machinery working. The press might be finishing it pressing cycle. Pumps can be running. The crushing machine could be in full swing. The forklift moving around a small tank. Crates unloading. Stainless steel tools clinging and singing. Tanks providing background noise of soft fermentation bubbling.
On top of that there is the team working hard, sometimes shouting, joking or laughing. A grower with full crates will arrive and in heavy dialect make clear that he is here! You will detect Cypriot, Romanian, English, Dutch, French and Greek… Jokes get lost in translation and puzzled faces of complete misunderstanding might appear. The Zambartas children running around teaching the whole team some Dutch essentials. The French interns using French measurement terms, rather than the Australian. A Cypriot swearing in Romanian. The tourist desperately trying to translate their cellar tour in their own language…
Sounds pretty messy, right? Do we really make good wine like this?
Are we a modern day ‘Tower of Babel’? : “Babel (Akkadian Bab-ilu, ‘gate of God’). A confusion of noises or voices; a hubbub. The allusion is to the confusion of tongues during the building of the Tower of Babel (Genesis 11).”
I would say yes. But the way the Babylonians supposedly created a magnificent tower despite the confusion, I dare to say we manage to make pretty good wine at the end of the day!
What I appreciate so much about our team is their flexibility and team work. Despite all of us coming from different countries and backgrounds, having different mother tongues and cultural habits, we always find a way to communicate. To solve a problem and to enjoy each other’s company. To give each other a helping hand when needed. When one is really tired, the other will do some extra. Give a compliment or say sorry. It is all part of the job and every day we learn something from each other.
It is great blessing to work with different nationalities and feel that we are all connected. We have an international squad that operates like a streamlined national football team. Don’t ask which national team, because we might get into a quarrel 😉
‘A team is as good as its members’ and I would say ‘A wine is as good as the team spirit it has been created with!
Cheers from a busy and noisy winery!