With the Cinsault harvested, crushed, given a primary fermentation and now resting in secondary fermentation tanks, I’m now faced with the immanent Grenache harvest. And we planted about four times as much Grenache as we did Cinsault. The prospective workload is staggering. My back hurts already. Clearly, it’s time to do something drastic.

I’ve got the solution and, as an added bonus, it’s as good for society as it is for my sulfite-reddened hands and grapeload strained back.

Wine Camp.

Hear me out.

You name me a problem with today’s kids, and I’ll tell you how Wine Camp will solve it.

1.) Kids today don’t understand the value of hard work. Best way to teach ’em, make ’em work hard. And we’ve got plenty of hard work to go around. Yes, a full day of little Jason and Brittany picking grapes bunch by bunch, row after row, then hauling them down by the tubload to the crushpad. . . well, let me say, that’s just the first part of the first day’s process. We won’t get too far into the second day and, believe me, they’ll know the value of hard work.

2) Kids today don’t understand the value of a dollar. Boy will they understand a dollar when they find out how few of them are the going rate per hour for agricultural work. Of course, they won’t be getting that paltry wage, unless you, their parents, opt for the Deluxe Package of our Wine Camp. Then we’ll add that pay to the very reasonable fee we are going to be charging you for little Zac and Willow’s camp experience. To further the economic component of Wine Camp, I’m thinking maybe I’ll only allow campers to buy at a “company store” that I set up at Two Terrier Vineyards. Any questions about how that system works, listen to Tennessee Ernie Ford singing “Sixteen Tons.” “I owe my soul to the company store” indeed.

3) My kids are running wild. Well, they won’t be running anywhere at TTV, because there isn’t anywhere to run. They could walk the few miles into Sonoma town down a dark country road with the snarl of bobcats and howl of coyotes to accompany them. But kids never exercise these days, so there’s no danger of that. I think I’ll start Wine Camp on the Honor System, but I’m not ruling out eventually instituting what used to be quaintly called “overseers”. Questions? Google “chain gang” or “Parchman Farm”.

 

These guys are professionals. They can pick half a ton in under an hour. Little Biff and Betsy will spend days and days on this character-building work.

These guys are professionals. They can pick half a ton in under an hour. Little Biff and Betsy will spend days and days on this character-building work.

 

 

4) Kids aren’t concerned about the environment like I was in the Sixties and Seventies. Two Terrier Vineyards and Wine Camp will be ALL about the environment. Your precious Sophie and Stevie will positively embrace the environment like junior Al Gores after a few weeks of emptying compost bins and sorting trash for recycling. That’s not even counting the weeding and cleanup of 40 acres and spreading the mulch back on the land. I think as a reward, certain campers will get to ride in the 1949 Ford to the town dump and recycling plant. Those that don’t come up to scratch can spend their off time scraping algae out of the pond.

 

Little Mitsy and Biff will really appreciate Nature when they have to forage all their food at Wine Camp.

Little Mitsy and Biff will really appreciate Nature when they have to forage all their food at Wine Camp.

 

 

5) My kids won’t listen when I tell them to be grateful they were born in America. At Wine Camp, your kids might as well be in a Somali refugee camp or a Haitian shanty town. They’ll be washing out of buckets, using a camp toilet and cooking their food outdoors over small hibachis. You and I used to call that camping, but, hey, kids today think an outdoor adventure is a non-enclosed mall. We’ll show ’em different. The fact that a Mountain Lion may be stalking their camp will just make it that much more exciting. We may, in the future, incorporate a Ewell Gibbons Program into our camp experience. Kids will forage the land for all their food. Or not eat.

5) My kids are into booze and drugs. Not after a trip to Wine Camp! You tell your kids that drugs kill. Have you ever gone the extra step and explained the misery that drugs cause to the people at the fringes of the trade or who are caught in the violence generated by drugs? Don’t bother, little Markie and Missy won’t believe you. But after a few weeks sweating it out in Wine Camp? Well, they’ll be identifying with people like the downtrodden drug mules and exploited Afghani poppy farmers instead of the multimillionaire dealers. After this reality show, I’ll bet they’ll never touch a drug again.

 

Oscar demonstrates living off the land his way. But dont worry, we wont make little Buffy and Jason eat old deer carcasses. Road kill is so much fresher. You wont have any more picky eaters after Wine Camp!

Oscar demonstrates “living off the land” his way. But don’t worry, we won’t make little Buffy and Jason eat old deer carcasses. Road kill is so much fresher. You won’t have any more picky eaters after Wine Camp!

 

 

6) Seems like parenthood has no rewards. Oh, we’ll reward you. We’ll send two bottles of fine Two Terrier wine home with your transformed little Albert and Sarah. That and our reasonable rates for a two week transformative experience for your little darlings? A positive gift.

So folks, we’re not completely organized on this yet. But it’s not too soon to send in your non-refundable deposit of $500 just to secure a place for little Sukey and Alastair. Can you really afford even the possibility that you’ll miss this opportunity?

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