10/10/2013 – 98 days/11132 miles

My plans have changed slightly…I’m waiting to get a visa for India, and this involves sending my passport to the office of a 3rd party company in Houston that doesn’t seem nearly as organized as they should be.  I was hoping I could just have stopped at an Indian embassy somewhere in Europe and have it taken care of there, but this seems to be the only option.  So I sent my passport to my parents, and they sent it in to the company that will supply the visa, and once they get it back, they will ship it back to wherever I am at the time.
With my passport in Texas, I can’t leave the Schengen zone, so while I wait out the visa process, I’ve decided to go back to the Czech Republic and work at a farm/vineyard/winery.
The winery is a small family operation, run by the Stávek Family…Richard and Stania, and their two kids, Živa and Theo (6 & 4).  Almost all of their production is going to restaurants in Prague and Brno, but they are just now starting to look for options to export a small amount to the US.  Although the primary product is wine, they also distill a little bit of brandy and schnapps.
So far, it’s been a really interesting experience.  I’ve brewed some beer in the past, so I was really excited to see how the wine process works.  And at this winery, it’s far different than typical wineries or breweries.  Richard is in control of the entire process, from planting vines, to harvesting, to bottling, and everything in between…it 100% his work, which I find pretty amazing.  All the wine is organic, made with wild yeast and open fermentation, and no fancy automated or electronic machinery is used in the process.  If you spend the day crushing or pressing grapes, you’re going to have sore arms the next day.  The whole process is much like how wine would’ve been made centuries ago.  Add in the look of the wine cellar, and it feels like you’ve taken a time machine back to the middle ages.
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Although most of the work is directly related to the wine, there’s also some random chores to do here and there, but when this is the view from the “office” I can’t really complain.
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They’ve also got a few animals…goats, primarily used for milking (and making delicious cheese), and Lucy, the horse.
The weather has been pretty nice, so Lucy’s been living in the pasture…and in the meantime, she was nice enough to let me keep my bike in her stall.

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