Close your eyes and imagine you are in a large manufacturing plant surrounded by the whir of machinery and the clatter of bottles as they rush down the production line. You get your bearings by gazing around and seeing numerous people in coveralls intently shepherding what appears to be beer bottles going down a production line. You notice one employee standing next to you. She’s a tall woman and you take note, this kid is not like the others. She has made her coveralls very unique by putting a large cursive “L” on the shoulder. This triggers deep-seeded memories of childhood TV watching and you are kinderstruck. Wait a second….it’s coming back…..is that Shotz Beer? and am I in the Shotz Brewery? You suddenly realize you’ve somehow time traveled back to 1970’s Milwaukee (funny how the attire is not that far off from how 2012 Seattle hipsters dress).
Many of you may be too young to remember Laverne & Shirley (worth checking out on DVD). But, this is exactly the same memory both of us conjured up during our first (albeit not beer bottling) wine bottling experience recently at one of our favorite wineries, Nota Bene Cellars. No, we did not quit our day jobs (wishful thinking), this was a volunteer job that proved to be both entertaining and educational (plus Tim, the winemaker, generously gave two free bottles of wine for every shift worked).
|Tim cleaning out the holding tanks|
|Tim driving a forklift. What can't he do?|
|Custom Bottling Company, where Homer lives|
|Homer taking a smoke break|
The group of volunteers at Nota Bene worked together like a well-oiled machine. Everyone seemed to know their roles well, which meant we must have been the only newbies. This was hard labor and we were glad we had anticipated sore muscles and booked a massage the next day. There were two special helpers that came with the mobile production facility, a senior golden retriever, Homer who loved chasing wine corks and his Chihuahua buddy that was more shy and stayed in the back of the trailer most of the night. The best part was when we started to see the line run dry and the fork lift didn’t bring any more bottles. It was, blow the whistle, Fred Flintstone quitting time!
Quitting time—was the fun time. The volunteers wasted no time partaking in the food buffet and the open bottles of Note Bene wine. Much better than Laverne’s Pepsi and milk concoction she whipped up after her shift at the Shotz Brewery.
Note Bene Cellars is the story of the dream of Tim and Carol coming true. We had a great time participating in the bottling of what’s sure to be another award winning line-up of 2010’s. Now skipping arm and arm, just as Laverne and Shirley started every episode, we’ll start down the road of pursuing our dream.
One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight.
Sclemeel, schlemazel, hasenfeffer incorporated.
We're gonna do it!
Give us any chance, we'll take it.
Give us any rule, we'll break it.
We're gonna make our dreams come true.
Doin' it our way.
Nothin's gonna turn us back now,
Straight ahead and on the track now.
We're gonna make our dreams come true,
Doin' it our way.
There is nothing we won't try,
Never heard the word impossible.
This time there's no stopping us.
We're gonna do it.
On your mark, get set, and go now,
Got a dream and we just know now,
We're gonna make our dream come true.
And we'll do it our way, yes our way.
Make all our dreams come true,
And do it our way, yes our way,
Make all our dreams come true
For me and you.
Aloha! Live life with flavor and fun!