Oenotivity (excerpt)

…at the top, parents took care of their business, tasted a bit I think, and I looked around.  I can only remember how quiet it was up there, how fresh and sedating the air was, how the clouds looked different.  Everything was different up there.  “So this is what a winery is….this is what they look like,” I thought.  Meaning all of them.  Well, we moved from the Peninsula to Santa Rosa, upper Rincon Valley, I saw that they didn’t all look like that.  And they weren’t so removed.  They were everywhere.  And I mean everywhere.  Mom, retired by now (late-2000), got an on-call gig pouring at St. Francis Winery & Vineyards.  This, and this decision alone coupled with the Sonoma County relocation, changed everything.  For all of us.  I know, sounds ominous and creepy and scary…. Your knuckles are white, right?  Well, this is a yay-saying story, one positive, relax.  You’ll like this…

The first bottle that I actually paid attention to was a 2000 Blackstone Merlot that Mom recommended I get for company I was having over, kind of a date and kind of not, when living in San Ramon for a brief time.  Moved there for graduate school, and a job I had at the time at an insurance office (one of the shittiest jobs I’ve ever had, I mean there was no view of vineyards and no clean Monte Bello of Kenwood air, so why would I be happy?).  Anyway, Mom in my eyes, and still is a bit, the wine boss of the family.  Just how I see her.  So I called her since she worked at a winery and asked her what kind of bottle I should have for my date—  I mean, friend.  “You should get a Blackstone Merlot.  I’m sure it’s at the grocery store down the street from you, I’m sure.” I went down there.  There it was.  I bought it.  Opened it for friend and myself.  Merlot was the first, my first varietal connection and love.

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