Day 1 - We left UMDNJ at 7:30 headed to Hunter College, and left by 8:50. We Started the tour at Sakonnet Vineyards. We looked at the safety and health issues with growing, harvesting, and processing the grapes. Hazards in the vineyard include exposure to pesticides, ergonomics, and basic safety issues. Lifting the bins (30 lbs.), clipping the vines, and harvesting the grapes are repetitive motions. At this point the grapes are just in the bud phase, so we see the early part of the seasonal growth. The Vineyard Manager spends a lot of time pruning the vines, so that growth is maximized, and enough sunlight keeps the leaves dry. Then we had a tour of the processing facility. There are confined spaces (permit required) that store the juice, hazards of extremely hot water that is used to clean the tanks, and lifting the boxes of wine when ready to be shipped. After all the touring, we had a chance to taste many of the wines produced by Sakonnet Vineyard.
We have 31 people on the tour, including students and faculty from the NYNJ ERC and the University of Cincinnati ERC.
Sakonnet Vineyard is in Little Compton RI. A very beautiful location, and well worth a trip to RI to visit. Spend some time in Newport, and then head to Little Compton for a visit. Stay tuned for more of the tour as we head to New Bedford to visit fishing vessels and a fish processing facility tomorrow. John Talty, from NIOSH met us in New Bedford, and will join us for the tour tomorrow.