99% Story, 1 % Wine

Tired yes, but not going back to bed– just arriving back from Kick Ranch pick with Glenn, he saying it’s over a third less fruit than last year.  But being out there, removed in that vineyard, the mild temp, even a bit cold as my hands are still returning to normalized mobility here in home on couch, I’m seeing myself more and more a winemaker in futures near.  Have to somehow sort through these pictures– and somehow I’m tempted to go back to sleep, but I’m home earlier than I thought I’d be and I always hope to write at 5AM and here I am so I can’t let Self return upstairs to our bed.  And no coffee, as to keep little Kerouac in his calmest charming state of sleeping.  Today need be extraordinarily productive.. after Chelsea meeting, going to a couple tasting rooms off the square.  Or maybe just one.  Or maybe none.  May need a nap as I didn’t sleep that well last night and this morning getting home late from Mendo, all that traffic and the stop and go surrounding some freeway fixup project on 101, but after that cruising into Cloverdale and Geyserville smelling the night air and fermentation, it intensified my speed, wind at my face’s left side–  I’m wandering in my thoughts I know, but this is the great consolidation I’ve always mentioned, for years now, and everything is right where I want it.  And, back to my address of sleep, I kept waking last night and this morning looking at my clock, doing that countdown afraid I’d miss the alarm, or I didn’t set it properly, or I’d just fucking sleep through it.  Luckily Alice heard me, ordered me to work, out to the vineyard for my continuing oenological rollercoaster serial novel–

Wish I had the sense of mind to describe what it felt like out there in the middle of the rows in the complete dark, surrounded by the crew members picking the exhausted Syrah clusters.  But the exhaustion, THIS exhaustion, and no coffee me wrestle and catch and ultimately subdue.  The air, such a benefit and respite, consolation from the heat wave that’s pummeling us.  OH– have to finish the piece for the Grape Growers by day’s end, just some simple edits and tweaks, nothing serious.  Maybe I should go upstairs, or just nap here on the couch for a bit.  Back all this up, I’m telling myself, don’t lose these thoughts and the entries, the days of writing– wine and the lasting spell of everything it touches; me and the eventual clients and customers that sip my bottled projects.

And I tried to go back to sleep, then I went to my meeting at Chelsea’s and tasted a bit on the square then did come back to this Autumn Walk spot and slept for about two hours.  And now the time reads 10:05, I sip a ’12 Pride Merlot.  Just the type of Merlot I want to produce, but mine’d be a but lighter, a bit more of that rose pedal or floral quality.  But even still, this was produced by my sister’s friend and friend to the Madigans, Ms. Sally, and it’s incredible, this is my second or actually third glass and I couldn’t be in more of a wine mood and mode.  The thoughts of this morning, around 4AM, still haunting me and introversion in this wine writer’s world, his Personhood.  Not going to finish the edits on the Grape Growers piece, and it’s hot down here on this first floor, so I just shoot for a modest thousand words for this 9/11.  And that date, 9/11.. not sure how I feel, not sure how much I want to dwell.  So I move on, and instead of dwelling on tragedy I fixate on promise of my world and reality with wine and all that’s ahead, my own winery, a tasting room like Hawely’s; rustic, dark chic and clean, completely wine-themed, no excess merchandise or any tourist trinkets. 

Still a bit tired, with that nap hangover you get when you only mean to rest and close your eyes but wind up falling into sleep deep.  So I try to wake up and re-organize and center with this session, thinking about that air this morning, trying to be more like Glenn, just walking around the vineyard and enjoying the moment and not using my camera every third or first second.  And last night, driving back from Mendo, and today parking at the Vine St. Starbucks in Healdsburg, smelling the airborne fermentation.  Harvest, this harvest, the 2015, making me more a winemaker than I’ve e’er been and writing everything and about everything from the cluster appearance to weight, to taste and to how the initial indications of fermentation smell like.  Like today, floral berries, whatever it was, could have been Pinot, could have been Zin.  But who cares about varietal, it was wine, it was and is Life.  And it’s me, about me, what I’m sipping from Pride and what I’ll sip next vintage when my fruit comes in.  So another mark on the timeline, after M2’s born– my winery’s fruit coming in.  So tomorrow I’ll wake at 5 or earlier, and launch the website, hurriedly, then my biz card order, then launch my startup piece– oh wine’s world won’t know what hit it.

But then I think maybe that’s the wrong attitude to take, I sound like those pompous excessively polished sommeliers that have a picture taken of them looking up at a glass like they’re actually thinking of the wine they’re peering into.  And they’re not.  It’s about them.  And these sites that claim they’re all about wine and wine’s true message and theme are only about selling something; themselves.  And that makes me want to hate the industry but I refuse to let these ad rats influence my conception and view of wine, its industry or business or culture.

The light during those early hours this morning, Glenn walking around and seeing the fruit, me imagining me him, watching what I’d have to make wine from.  Wine, a voice and a lean vintage.  So what do I do?  What does the vineyard and the vintage want this writer to do?  Need another glass of that Pride.  Help me think help me be more of that vineyard and its soil the feel and smell and taste– the rocks and terroir, the texture and revelation of steps of voice– wined voices haunting and following, from glass to character assembly.  No more wine, but sleep, and tomorrow, more story to write and more things to see and taste at Arista, the evolutions and stories in bottles.