On lunch, writing about a winemaker friend, some copy for his site. Interesting guy, really, aiming to make wines that tell the story of him, his family, the site from which he sources. The wines made by he and his wife are wines that are made by hand, that exhibit an intimacy with the vineyard and the varietals nurtured by the soils of that site. Making wine is not just about making wine, but about telling a story, and intermingled narrative from he winemakers’ point—of-view, but as well what the land and the conditions of the terroir, for that vintage (or year) delivered. The wines he makes are singular, not found anywhere but from his efforts. Blair and Caroline want to share their love of family, wine, the land, and the dream of living in California with everyone opening one of their bottles at the dinner table.
They touch the wine in all of its development stages, from when it’s on the vine to when it’s trucked to the crush pad. Each scene in each parcel of the wine’s story, they are there. Winemaking is Art, and Science, a blend of the two, but it’s about your closeness to what you do as a winemaker and the connection you have to the soil…
At my brother Cass’ desk right now, with a bit more than 20 minutes I think to write Yes… 20 minutes and 9 seconds… now 19 minutes and some seconds— fuck the clock, I’m not paying it even a cent of mind. Want to think about my wine, that I make this vintage— yes I decided. And I’m thinking Chardonnay, after writing some of Blair’s copy and thinking about the meditative and interplanetary Chard’ that he does from Sonoma Mountain, I want to play with the Burgundy, see what it says to me and what I can say through it.
I peer at the Chardonnay block here on Dutcher’s property, or a picture I took earlier, and think of what the visual itself says to me. First word, “Confident”. Next, “Defiant”. We’re in a Zinfandel-dominated territory, and Chardonnay is the chieftain varietal on site. So it sits there on the valley floor just staring back at everyone that looks its way. “I’m Chardonnay,” it says, “May I help you?” the block adds with confident and a coy angle of antagonism.
Writing here in the office I see myself in MY office, the bottledaux/mikemadigancrEATive base. Ideas and stories, teaching and blogging, telling stories… telling stories.. the characters and where they’re from, like Caroline and Blair, their family winery… So much in my idea pool and puddle, more now an ocean that I have trouble typing, finding myself having to type and re-type and re-re-re-type.
Slept in this morning, all of us as I noted earlier, which was nice, but did put me in a bit of a time squeeze this A.M. Thought about yesterday from when I got out of bed, that one lady saying to me, “Well, from our training we always want the wine to be sweeter than the food,” commenting how how she and her hubby didn’t like the wine-food pairings yesterday. We’re all entitled to opinions, much of what makes this wine life enjoyable, but the way ideas are presented it with what I raise issue. “Our training”? What training is that? And where? And why do you have to tell me that? Is this your version of flashing a badge, conveying authority? Completely forgot where I was just now, as the summoning of this memory and that lady yesterday toward day’s end at the bar completely sent me. Then today, the group I just helped, 4 LOVELY people from Iowa, told a story about tasting yesterday in Napa and just not being able to stand the crowds.. one lady throwing up or passing out or both in the bathroom, coming out with a toilet lid impression on her face. I again forget where I am, in this office and at my brother’s desk… Shit, only 7 minutes left. Should edit, prep my little makeshift notebook of the stapled-together scratch pieces for my Chardonnay deconstruction… Think it’s Chardonnay. And I’m thinking stainless with an inoculate yeast of some kind. May ask my sister, when she’s back from her travels, Italy— Don’t think my jealous and intent in being On The Road has fled my character, MY story. No. It’s only intensified, and about twenty-fold since yesterday.