© Dawn Kish
CELLAR RATKris Pothier
Kris Pothier likes to get dirty. That's a good thing, considering what she does. She's a cellar rat — that's wine-speak for a person who literally cleans up the cold, wet mess of winemaking. "It's filthy," Pothier says. "It's more wet than filthy. Sometimes it's filthy, and sometimes your shoes are full of wine." Depending on the time of year, Pothier will be racking barrels, topping wines or punching caps (a process through which she pushes down the skins that have gathered near the tops of the fermentation bins every eight hours). "It's physically strenuous, emotionally taxing, but it's really humorous," she says with a smile. "Being covered in water and having just a few hours of sleep makes for leaps of the imagination." Despite the backbreaking work, this is truly a labor of love for Pothier. She, her winemaker husband, Joe, and their two business partners recently released a whole-cluster Merlot under their label Chateau Tumbleweed.
— Kathy Ritchie
For more information about Chateau Tumbleweed, visit www.chateautumbleweed.com.