Jared and Tracey Brandt survived this weekend on very little sleep. It’s wine harvest time which means the Berkeley winery they run on Fifth Street was in full crush mode.
On Saturday evening, as he hosed down the tall silver tanks in which newly crushed grapes would soon be stored, Jared admitted he was feeling a little dazed with all the hard labor. And the crew still had a long day of work ahead of them on Sunday.
The couple, who started Donkey & Goat in 2003 and moved into their new premises this year, had friends along to help them, however. Tony Hecht lives in the neighborhood and stumbled upon the winery about a year ago. “I fell in love with what they’re doing, and also with what they represent: a transformation of this part of West Berkeley from an aging industrial area to a cool-yet-approachable artisan base,” he says.
While Hecht himself didn’t clamber into the barrels of grapes to help crush them by foot, he did help with picking through the fruit to discard debris and leaves, and with the clean-up. He also took several of the photos here.
After three days of work, the workers will have processed six tons of grapes which will eventually produce about 1,000 bottles of wine.