Philosophy and wine: an excellent pairing

Meet Emily Grazier, one of the newest interns to join the Greystone team.

A freelance writer and editor, tango dancer and photographer, Emily loves trying new things and developing her skills. Winemaking is just one of the many strings to her bow – but a particular favourite when harvest comes around.

Emily’s a graduate of philosophy and literature, so thinks about wine a little differently than most. While she was at university, she wrote extensively about it.

“I’ve always been drawn to how wine is at the intersection of so many facets of our experience – consumption and conviviality, religion, literature – and uses so many different disciplines and skill sets in its creation.”

Emily was inspired to give winemaking a shot when her university connected her to a vineyard in the US wine industry. The autumn following graduation she went to work harvest for the first time. While she spent a few years afterward trying out other careers, she says she couldn’t stop thinking about that autumn. When the opportunity came up to intern for Greystone, she applied without hesitation.

“One of the winemakers I’d worked with for my first vintage had also worked at Greystone a few years prior. She brought back some of their bottles and opened one for me to taste.

“It’s been years now, but I still remember that wine, and how it completely changed my expectations about how wine could taste. I kept in the back of my mind that if I ever got the chance to work in the southern hemisphere, I’d like to work for that producer.”

Now several years later, she’s excited to be here. Other than a few rainy days, Emily says the harvest went really well and the fruit was beautiful and clean.

“It’s been a busy vintage as we’ve been bringing in plenty of fruit. The team here is incredible – a huge reason why I wanted to work here. I feel like there’s so much to learn and I love that the permanent members of the cellar are willing to let us taste everything and ask loads of questions.”

One of her favourite things about the experience so far is there’s something to tackle and learn from each day. The senior team members switch up the tasks for interns so they’re not doing the same thing day in and day out. Instead, they can give everything a go and figure out which area they like.

“It’s great – one day you might be prepping, cleaning, or filling barrels, and then another you’re running the sorting table and crushing Pinot Noir. We’ve done a lot of block-specific Pinot ferments, so punch downs and pump overs are a big part of everyone’s day.”

Although she spends a lot of her time in the cellar making wine, Emily loves heading out to the vineyard and seeing what the team is doing there.

“I got to set up one of the vineyard ferments this year, which was awesome! It was really exciting to spend some time in the vineyard, see the picking crew in action, and process the grapes right in between the vines.”

With Greystone situated between the rolling Teviotdale hills, it was easy for Emily to fall in love with our beautiful landscape. It won’t be long before she returns to a winery in Finger Lakes, New York – so for now she’s soaking up every sunset she can – her favourite thing at the end of the day.

“Now that I’m here, it was well worth the wait.”