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02.22.2005

The Dangers of Winemaking

Anyone who has looked into what it takes to actually make wine knows that it's hard, sometimes backbreaking work. Hand harvesting, hauling tons of grapes, putting them through the crusher, scrubbing big tanks, driving forklifts, etc. There's a reason mostly migrant workers do that stuff. It's brutal. I had no idea how dangerous it was, however. This week a worker at a South African winery was killed when the wine tank he was mixing literally exploded underneath him. Apparently a spark from the mixing machinery ignited some fumes in the tank (wine fumes? gas fumes?) and the whole thing blew. Poor guy. I'm glad that sort of thing doesn't happen too often, but who knew it could happen at all?

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Required Reading for Wine Lovers

The Oxford Companion to Wine by Jancis Robinson Wine Grapes The World Atlas of Wine by Hugh Johnson to cork or not to cork by George Taber reading between the vines by Terry Theise adventures on the wine route by Kermit Lynch Love By the Glass by Dorothy Gaiter & John Brecher Noble Rot by William Echikson The Science of Wine by Jamie Goode The Judgement of Paris by George Taber The Wine Bible by Karen MacNeil The Botanist and the Vintner by Christy Campbell The Emperor of Wine by Elin McCoy The Taste of Wine by Emile Peynaud