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Ice Your Wine! Hot Weather Tips

It was early August 1988. My mother lived near Temecula, California on a property with 100 Cabernet Sauvignon vines. My husband and I were bringing the small vineyard back to life after two years of neglect. The grapes were ripening very nicely, but unfortunately, I was ripening a little faster. I was nine months pregnant and due August 8. If I waited until after I delivered, the grapes would be too ripe, so we picked the grapes before they were ready. The temperature hit 100° F that day. We picked early in the morning and then went to my obstetrician appointment in the afternoon. My husband destemmed the grapes by hand in the back of my brother’s pickup in the doctor’s parking lot. He had plenty of time; expectant mothers have been known to go through entire trimesters in obstetrician waiting rooms. We crushed the grapes that night, with our feet, of course. I was literally “barefoot and pregnant.” We had one air-conditioned room, so that’s where we placed the fermenter, a large plastic garbage can. After a few days,