Help from France
- October 26, 2016
We are lucky this year to have not just one French intern, but three! Guillaume Marre (as featured in this earlier blog) arrived in the first week of June and returned to France at the end of September for the start his school. Fortunately, Charles Marcoin and Aurélie Wycke came mid-September, so Guillaume could teach them about the life and expectations of an intern at Hafner Vineyard (most importantly, to spell "P-O-O-L" in front of Annie, our Labrador and waterdog extraordinaire.)
All of our previous interns have been students at French Agricultural Universities. Charles and Aurélie are Parisian professionals (Charles in digital marketing and Aurélie in public transportation) who are taking a sabbatical and touring the Americas. So far, they have visited: Canada, Yellowstone, Seattle and San Francisco.
Exploring Banff in their camper van.
A quick photo opt in Yellowstone.
Charles couldn't resist the wide open highway leading to the Grand Teton National Park.
Why interns at Hafner Vineyard? Well, that is a long story. When I was growing up, my family served as hosts to international students at UC Berkeley and in 1973, a French graduate student, Gilles Marcoin, and his wife, Chrystel (the future parents of Charles), became part of our family.
In 1981, when Sarah and I were interns in Burgundy, we spent several weeks before and after our internship with Gilles and Chrystel at their Paris apartment. They taught us the finer points of French culture—like enjoying an apéritif while cooking dinner and serving raclette on cold wintery nights. Over the years, we have spent time together both here and in France; with both sets of kids (ours: Kate and Grace, theirs: Charles and Axel), we have hiked together at Point Reyes, seen la spectacle at Versailles, toured Vaux-le-Vicomte, many memories over many years.
Kate Hafner, Axel Marcoin, Charles Marcoin and Grace Hafner enjoying a day at the beach.
When Charles contacted me last winter to ask if they could come for the harvest, I said “YES, of course!”
Guillaume, Kate, Aurélie and Charles at the Pacific Coast near Timber Cove.
During the six weeks, Charles and Aurélie have learned the intricacies of winery work – from processing the grapes to cleaning the crushpad, from washing and stacking barrels to filling and topping them, from hand labeling magnums to helping in the shipping department building Gift Packs that will be sent out for the Holidays.
Later on this week, they will continue on their sabbatical, heading south to Bryce Canyon and Death Valley, then onto Cuba, Chile, Argentina and Peru.
Needless to say, we have loved having Charles and Aurélie here. The spirit they bring is infectious; their work ethic is impressive; their curiosity and interest in what we do and why makes us think too. We have continued the Hafner/ Marcoin family tradition of aperitifs before dinner and raclette on rainy days. We have had so many laughs and good times that come Friday, we will be sad, but we know that we return to France, Charles will have a Moscow Mule waiting for me.