Posts Tagged With: wine

At winery. 

 

 Walked vines.  Tasted wines.  Writing in singular words, ideas and stories, like “Earth” and “Life”, and “Voice”– TRANSLATION.  Just enough for a novelist, just enough for Mike Madigan, more than enough for today and the sequencing of manuscripts..

’13 RRV Pinot– Mint and Maple, Cherry and voltage from catalyzing to conclusion.  Another word, “Language”.  So much language here, and about wine and the people in wine’s grip and Road– the story goes and with it.  Away into page flights, like Pinot stretches..

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Glass Memory

When you learn in the wine world it’s different and much more punctuated I feel, than in other extensions.  The soil, the rootstock, the varietal clone the microclimate the trellising style, the adds (if any).  So much to it.  And listening to him speak of the ripening and the clones of Pinot and everything that’s to be considered as a grower/winemaker, has me considering and reconsidering everything.  I feel tireless, just like him.  Wanting so much to work those endless harvest hours.  but I pause and just watch again, seeing if I really could do that– well of course I can, if I put as much of myself into it as he did, does–

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And I walk another block, staring at the hills and again realize there’s so much to this wine story of mine, of ours, all of ours in this world and business.  And the story that’s being told and narrated is not ending, ever.  Back in Bennett Valley, just up the Road from where Alice and I used to live, in that condo, which I find completely Literary in all its suggestive angles, and I still feel tireless, like I could write all night about wine and what I plan to do with it.  I’d pace back and forth, up and down that row if I could.

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I follow.  Just a student again.  And I love it.  More than I can here tell you and certainly more than I have time to tabulate.  So I follow Glenn some more around the rows and look at the clusters, and one thing I do notice which he confirms is the uneven ripening, which could be negative or not.  But who knows, I guess.  It all depends on how the juice tastes, right?  So I want to study the business more and see what I can do as a winemaker, maybe, or just a wild wine writer that I already be.  My head’s everywhere, and I credit and blame the day, in those blocks.

(7/31/15)

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In Block, A.M.

IMG_7418Not sure I have time today to write 3 pages as I’d like, and after the walks in the vineyards with Glenn, I only want to stay lost in these wine thoughts, and keep sipping wine and thinking about having my own vineyard, or label.. keep myself in wine, lost and not caring.  At the Hopper base right now, in the side conference room, if that’s what you’d call it.  Sipping my coffee and looking through pictures I shot on the vineyards and about the block, of the rows and the clusters I clipped and tossed into that red Home Depot bucket, one of two that we went to go quickly fetch.  And honestly I don’t know what to do with all this material I’ve gathered, just from today let alone pictures from the past week or two.  There so much to learn about all this; wine and the business I’ve started, running a business and media and the blend of everything.  But I’m not focusing on what I need to learn but more so on what I already know.  The videos I shot with Glenn talking about the grapes and the levels he wants to see with immediate respect to acid, ph, brix.. again, still learning.

Have to do a couple house-cleaning things while here, for mikemadigancrEATive.. site and IMG_7428business cards design, and marketing.. more marketing.. crEATive marketing.. I see my office, off the H-burg square, just down or up the street from Sanglier, in a spot where I be around and about everything.  Watching the video where he talks about cluster sampling, and the samples’ intention, getting a snapshot of the vineyard and ripening, and with harvest coming ever closer.. so much to think about but I don’t get flustered, just fixate on the vineyard and its magic, especially that Bennett Valley spot, up there in the hills, a bit up the street from where Alice and I used to live.  And there’s the proximity and the unifying quality to wine, that magic and coercion that I welcome.  And my wine story intensifies, get further into my already-busied IMG_7431character.  Need something to explore, something to taste, but I’ll wait till tonight, at Mom and Dad’s whatever they decide to open and I love not knowing.. maybe I’ll send them a note to open something new and unfamiliar, with some unique chord they’re aware of and that they think I should feel.

Again with the pictures.  Those Pinot clusters in the bucket, looking back up at me and I wonder what they’ll turn into (well, even though I know these particulars are meant just for sampling, to get a read on the vineyard).  What will the vineyard look like the night before picking?  Can’t wait to be out there when the crew is, early in the morning, writing about the harvest and all the activity as I did in ’12, covering the story, and being there as the ’15 vintage is written, documented and sent to press.

(7/31/15)

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7/30–

First chance to write, now, at 5:13.  In adjunct cell and still going.  Editing for client 2, after today’s meetings then class, which I’m sure is to be short this evening, as they only have their papers now to write, and keep a journal while doing so.  When home, I’ll write some more, for client 1, then for myself, start my tentative website, and again have the alarm set early, for 5, as my wife insisted this morning around 4, claiming 4 was too early to run and not safe.  Have to love her, even more than I do, for that.  But I didn’t rise even after setting the alarm for 5 and then just turning it off when it sounded, not running at all.  But after the meeting with Glenn I did get in 8 miles of speedwork on the treadmill, at gym.  Showered quick, and now here, after iced coffee and into sparkling water.  Tonight I’ll be opening something, some wine, but what who knows.. writing something, client 1 like I said, but what.. thinking fiction, something narrative, that embodies character, wine, “wine education”, wine SELF-education, and life direction.  5:24, but I thought it was later.. how’s that?  Not sure.  Have to do a budget check when home.. money goes so fast, as you know, and you know I know and hate.  WHY!  Have to fill in the income gaps, and I have with these two clients a bit (thank the Craft for them), but I need more, something tangible to sell, not just my services as a writer and editor.. how.. little books, stories.. poems.. entries.. yes, now it to me comes.. I know I’ve entertained and boasted this idea before, but now I can fund it–  little pieces from the wine-writing ME; favorable and crazily, wildly written wine “musings” or/and delusions, just visions of me in the vineyards and– OH!  Can’t forget to charge all my equipment before launching into the vineyard with Glenn tomorrow, see how the fruit progresses.

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7/25/15 Shot

  
run to the grapes and

see what they say. new message

and talk.  voice redraw.  

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Morning, 7/26/15

The next day.  Shamed in that I don’t write till the next day, the next morning, and not at the hour I want, which frustrates me to no end.  And then I have it decided that I’ll leave work a bit early to get done what I need done; all the tasks for clients, some writing for the novel, and whatever else.  I can only entertain what I’d be getting done while at the winery, when it’s slow, hating how it’s slow, and then pacing around the tasting room wishing I could get all that stuff done.  But I put myself there– and this new idea I have, getting one more class to teach for Fall, but online.. never taught online before, but I know I could, and can, and will.  Just have to push, make that part of my hustle.

Jackie still asleep and I badly need a coffee.  All I have to do is put the little cup in that bloody contraption and push BREW.  But I can’t separate or sever my thoughts from these keys, this laptop thatI had charging all night and in the corner of this bottom floor by the couch with my work bag and all the other worlds of me, this current Mike Madigan, so riddled in angst and ambition, that only wants to write and can barely find it in himself to repeat those descriptions behind the bar–  “Keep writing, keep writing..” I tell myself so I won’t have coffee any time in the next few minutes or so but that’s fine, I just won’t let myself stop, and think about farmers and how early they rise and that they have no choice, they don’t have the luxury of flakiness from time to time.  It, whatever the current “it” is, has to be done, finished, then there’s another “It”.

Then I hear my boy, talking to his mama.  I have to stop writing for a minute–

And we’re both downstairs with my coffee and Jack continually saying he wants to go run, as Alice just left with her friend to take on the hills of Fountaingrove in their now-tradition’d Sunday morning powerwalk.  Which leaves me here with the little Beat, and now I can only think of how it’s just 3 minutes before 7, might as well be 11 or 3 in the afternoon.  Again, I failed to get up at 5, or just before 5 to write and do things of clients as I told Alice last night.  This morning I just feel separated and not quite as directed as I want to be.  I have to leave work early today for the prose and its sake and its development.  I look around the internet for distance learning courses but then turn it off as Jack comes closer to me, to play on the other side of the toychest and arrange his toys as he likes, then I just watch and type while he does with his alway-obsessive placement of the larger little trucks afront the little race cars.  “You see, Daddy?” he says.  I go back to typing without looking noticing all my typos, fix them then I’m back off on my story.  And the story today is building not just my clients’ stories but my own.  And the regularity and patterned ‘anything’ has to be shed.

Something Glenn said the other day, about his business and waking up as early as he does, “You have to live it,” he told me at the tall Campo Fina table.  And I want to now live as a writer like I never before have, finishing my novels and either self-publishing them or having them printed.  More than likely the former as I want ALL control.  I’m not letting them fumble my ideas so they’re more marketable, or letting them quarantine the most truthful tellings only to have them absconded, stricken altogether.

Jackie begins to lose patience with his cars for some reason and pushes them all to the floor, which he often does, now settling on the new endeavor of putting everything on the floor into the little plastic tubs, each a different color.  I should have gone for a run this morning, yes, but then I wouldn’t be able to see this, his projects and how he doesn’t complain like the writer but just does, and has fun doing so even if there’s the occasional vocal grievance .  There’s a focus, or certain cynosure to his movements.  And now to mine.  I’m learning from my little Beat, everything I need to be as an Artist, and he takes me through every step, “Daddy I have to put this toy away.” And he follows-through, doesn’t become diverted or pulled to some other urge, “And now I gotta put these toys…” I WILL be more like Jack as a writer and Artist, and teacher as well, with students and their assessment, and writing about it all, everything, the discoveries and stories, and the blog for the students– just learning and teaching what I learn as I go.. but then I again think of killing the teaching blog, right?  Too much.  Consolidate.  Or not.  Just keep it, as I did renew it recently.  Feel like a mess this morning but I’m rather centered.  OR that could be self-deceit.  Who cares, I’m onboard, fine with it.

This next day, writing and teaching myself something, and being taught by my little boy, to just live, play, and forget about stresses.  Yes I should have been earlier up, but I’m now here with my pages, with my thoughts and the visions of what I’m to do with my business and with the teaching, and the tasting room– how much longer, not sure, but not much I know.  But why I’m there I’l embrace it, use it, learn what I can from it and let it continue to contribute to the novel, novels.  Now Jack’s on the floor trying to assemble something, I think one of those air-motivated toys that sends some foam missile to the air when you jump on one end, not sure, but he tries to connect a cord to one of the pump-bases.  And he narrates each step, what he sees and learns and thinks should happen.  that’s how I should be with this new day, this next morning and till whenever I decide to leave the winery.  Have to find online classes to teach, if I can.. just one more, one more section then I’ll be in the place I need for the books and for the clients so I can focus on their needs and projects.. it’s the hours at the winery that seem to be infusing the most interference, much I enjoy being there, right in front of that Japanese water garden.  Have to plan, everything from when I wake to the drive to work, to the tasting room and what I want from there, to the couple free hours after. 

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7/24/15– notes

Meeting with client, then what.  Writing, whole day to self.  May do short run, but the writer needs time to meditate think in the context of the novel.  6:54AM, and not much in a mood for writing.  So then what.  What am I doing?  Why force?  ‘Cause I can’t sit still.  Not with the words and the streamings of what’s synaptically snapping in my head.  the novel the novel the novel, just like when I was in grad school; go to the fiction seminar then come home to write, all jazzed up but then do nothing with the pages in fact I have now no idea where they are, were, or are, in the garage?  victims of the Autumn Walk move?  Who knows.  But I’m older, much, now, and with a family, with real deadlines.  Used to hate deadlines but I now I clear conceptualize their value and grow from that, the old Chinese wisdom, Lao Tzu, of calm overcoming heat.  The connection not sure but I know there is one and one that will establish the day’s mentality and attitude, my mood which has of late proven to be volatile somewhat.  Symptomatic of writers and their ways, my ways.. the one holding the pen and collecting the pages– if I’m to be a novelist all has to be simple and all has to be contained, have borders.. so…..

On the Road I’ll have–

Hours later, i resume with whatever I thought I had, after meeting and so many wine thoughts and sips I’m confused and convinced that the wine story will show me where to go, exactly and not.  I’m not editing this entry even a little, but writing freely, so freely I’m lawless and chaotic, and defying what there is in way of law.. two Chardonnays I tasted on Healdsburg’s square before my meeting with Glenn, where again I was prompted to futher submerege in the text and subtext of wine’s clefs and frets– but then what, the entanglement of my consciousness becomes even more oceanic in its momentum–  I’m cornering myself for reason;s sake and stabilization, the anchoring of wine’s candid thesis and direction, the papers and novels it wants me to write– so now I sip more of the Sanglier Blanc, a blend of every white varietal under a Sonoma County variable sky– my beat complete and replete with a street’s beat.  And me, the novelist under deadlines always just sipping the new wine that greets him, thinking he can be a winemaker and novelist and journal everything he can– he said, “One fast move, or I’m gone…” And so I feel the same way and drink more, listen to the music of the quiet on the bottom floor of this Autumn Walk spot– distractions that’s it, Emerosn would be mad at me and he should be, and so should Dad, as he once told me that distractions are “death to a goal”.  Those were his precisely realized words, the specified direness of everything, and as a writer it vocals even more, me with my students and my novel just haunts me and makes me drink more of this white blend of 53 varietals– I just use sarcasm as a way to cope, and with what, who knows, this narrative is directionless, and I am on my Road, in these studies and always jealous of the students and those that get to travel for work, you know the ones that say “Oh I just got back from a trip to North Carolina for a week, and then Florida after that…” Just heard someone say that to me, so placidly, and I was angered or envious I don’t know I just saw the Road for me and become hellish in my realization of accepted regularity–  staring at the wall, the wainscoting, the patterns have me distracted– nothing in this room wants me to write.  So I fight, for my sanctum, and my sanity, and the stabilized penning of my Now, the Newness and the Road’s varying light, what happened?  but I’m calm, not at all overheated, or understated, but what am I truly, that’s the novel’s goal determining that so I’m destined to be flat and failed– my beat piles on a cold floor.  This white blend, telling me to go further into wine’s heave, but for what I ask, what if I stopped–  I need sleep now, the adjunct, the tremens, that’s a career right? 

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from today’s 3 pages (no edits)

…two wines to try tonight, the SB and CS from Blair’s friend.  And remember, no brokering!  Just writing about them!  And I more and more think I’m destined to make a bbl of Cab this vintage.  I’ll talk to “Arista Mark” when he’s back from his trip.  I know just how I want it produced, and I need to start setting aside money, as I know this will cost me a penny or 3, 5, 15.. who knows.  And I know that.  And I know I won’t make it back and I’m fine with that, the adjunct knows what to do with his wines, with his career, and the English Professor role I carry and try to admirably execute is always present; try to teach people and myself something new about Cabernet.. maybe a light oak approach?

Exhausted after rush-typing that article, the MOCK SOMM piece.  Need to keep that column up, and play with it, market it.. do something more with it.  My brand, if you will: the writer/English Prof writing about wines and the character they carry, their respective theses.  Needing a break but the jazz tells me know.  I’m on stage with Hutcherson, with Miles and all of them.  People are depending on me to say something but what does the writer say when he’s tired, barely has a thought to share, would rather just sip wine and watch the sun as it falls, have a glass of SB up at the Hilton on Round Barn Circle.  But I’m always working.  Always tired.  Always trying to organize and always with a wish list.  I’m always wishlisting.  But isn’t that what wine’s about, dreaming?  And writing, too?

I’ll break right after reaching the bottom of this page, my 3-paged daily effort, and with wine in my vision, me on a crush pad tasting from barrels and taking samples to the lab to have them checked out and knowing I’m on my way, my truest of true stories being told; writer and winemaker, if that’s not all I don’t know, but I have to make wine, I have to speak through it as client 2 does.  And what.. what do I really want.. I already know, or I know NOW, and I’m convinced it’s this new business idea of mine, telling and re-telling wineries’ stories.

Hard to think in this adjunct cell, now.  Feel hot.  Think the air is broken, or not in play at the moment.  the jazz tries to cool me but I can only think about all that I have to do, all that I have to learn and learn quick, about wine, and winemaking, marketing, selling, everything– even writing about it!  I know I have more to learn about how to convey the message of a wine, make it intriguing, giving it added narrative layers and what have.  And wine education!  I know I should be writing more “tips”, or thoughts.. educating people, or consumers, or anyone curious about wine, on how certain approached can benefit your connection to wine…

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MOCK SOMM: Stewart Cellars, Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2012

IMG_7293Enclosed in this new Cabernet translation, one from Napa which I don’t explore enough and I don’t know how more I need to go over there now, I can simply flurry and fly to a computer and order.  But I slow in my sips and remember what it was like with the first sensory landing; the chocolate and toasted oak, blackberry and cherry and whatever spice that is, nose; then the palate is irrevocably kaleidoscopic in its current and webbed ebb.  Just charming and musical, jazzed from first measure to last.  I look for jazz in wines, as you might know and here I have it, a newly voiced Cabernet beat and snare sound; soft but not passive, assertive with no encroach.  Just a bedazzled figure, me, speechless and only writing what notes I’m capable; the coma-coding charm of this bottle, texture and rhythm, me thinking and writing something down that I check later only to laugh as it doesn’t make sense.  And why don’t I be more technical, why not go more into those descriptors and what wine publications would publish, what a half-faced clack-dish sommelier would say, in that low all-knowing octave.  Because I can’t, no pulse of that angle; what this is, candid adoration of a wine, this Stewart Cabernet, Napa.. Napa and I reconnecting and I have this to thank, but I’m afraid to try others.  And I don’t think I will for a while– need to order more– and the recalls of the jazz I sipped the other night and right now again grip me, have me bobbing my head, not knowing where the wine’s profile and note syncopation will next go.  I don’t need to know.  Just years ago, I was just discovering Cabernet, and I’ve learned a bit since then, but this bottle, as Ginsberg said, “doesn’t hide the madness”.  It teaches me more than I could have called.  It shares its “inner moonlight”.  And this madness, make me mad to keep sipping, in want of more notes, more music from its nuclei, more discoveries and answers but I don’t want it to answer them all; I love its dark mystery, from visual to texture how the sip summarizes itself.  I need another.  Sip.  Bottle.  Case.  So I’m in scribble till the night’s over, till the jazz arrests.

MM95

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7/22/15 Pinot Walk

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