How Does an Urban Winemaker Work?

In this episode of Working, we learn what a winemaker (who happens to work part of the year as a commercial salmon fisherman) does all day.

Christopher Nicolson in his other job as a commercial salmon fisherman.

Christopher Nicolson

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Working is back with a new season and a new host, Slate economics correspondent Jordan Weissmann.

In his first episode, Jordan talks to Christopher Nicolson, head winemaker at Red Hook Winery, a unique operation in the heart of Brooklyn that produces wine from grapes grown across New York state. As the man who oversees all the winery’s production, Nicolson is in charge of making and bottling his own creations, while also producing wines for two consulting vintners from California. As if crafting a solid Bordeaux blend weren’t enough work, Nicolson also spends part of the year running the family business—commercial salmon fishing in Alaska.

Nicolson tells us about losing sleep over what’s going on inside his barrels, arguing with farmers at harvest time, and just how early in the day he has to start drinking wine. Plus, he gets into what it’s like to go off the grid to catch wild salmon and all the pleasures and dangers that entails.

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Podcast production by Jessamine Molli.