It’s getting so close you can feel it. Grapes are being tested daily for sugar levels and tasted to see how they are coming along. It’s the last time before crush to get any equipment fixed, get tanks ready, and make space for the new grapes for the 2010 vintage once they are picked. Winery people (vineyard managers, wine makers, etc), who generally seem pretty easy-going and relaxed most of the time, are noticeably less so at this time of year. There’s a lot riding on what will happen over the next couple of months and they have every reason to be a little on edge. That’s the excitement of making wine and most of them really love being on that edge – it’s why they signed up for the gig.