Day 25, 7/4/17, Tuesday: At Lancaster and in building alone. Somewhat has that spooky, ominous atmospheric consistency but I’m far too into my work to care or ask myself, “What was that?…What was THAT?…” Clouds overhead, reviewing notes from last night’s Christopher Creek Meritage. Not sure if I was underwhelmed, confused by the wine, or just not in a wine mood but found myself sipping anyway hoping something would happen. I honestly don’t know. And sometimes that happens with wine, I guess— Well, I know. Brought camera with me so I’ll get out there at lunch at shoot the growing clusters, which I already saw are completely different in appearance and general shape than when I was here last Thursday to take care of some shipping orders.
Plan for today is NO tasting, but we’ll see how that gallops. Everyone knows what an obsessed disciple I am of LE wines, all of them, so to not sip is a challenge. Why? Just the fiery character and slow moving, elegant ebb when the wine rile your senses. These wines are something of a dimensional shift in the wine world and antithetical to any lazy red, or white, you’ve had, past. Again, the quiet gets to me, so I think of putting on Hutcherson but internally vote against it.. utterly veto such. No le fates pas! (Don’t do it!). I won’t. Want to become the winery while here… breathe what it does and feel everything it does and see through the receptors of the leaves and growing canes…. The fog or low cloud veil starts to burn away, I think. Hear birds outside, saying something to each other, probably commenting on the property itself, how whenever they want they can just fly over it, enjoy the view, enjoy the morning and afternoon, falling sun later and how the pervasive tint and hue of the vineyards assumes new narrative. And just like that, after a paragraph, sun speaks.
I’m the only car in the parking lot, the only character onstage. Just looked around the wall, no one coming driving down driveway. Have a little more time to self. 09:06…. My inalienable functionality of a writer makes itself known to me in a way I’ve never before heard it internally and with wine all around me and the thoughts of that C-Creek blend in my vision and taste still, I think more of wine and what it’s done to my life. Starting with where I am now, Lancaster, when I first the label in ’11 when I landed a job with “the box” as I called it, the small marketing firm which was a DTC mini-call/whore-house. Lancaster was my first assignment and I came here on an “immersion” as the managers love to say, to taste the wines and hear the story, and what’s to be sold and how we can do whatever it is the winery needs us to do. When the box let me go, not only was I elated to be out of that office, but I knew Lancaster would take me in after all I’d sold for them. And they did. And here I am, back over five years future’d, with the wines that not only rocketed my vino fervor to somewhere I never thought it’d go, but letting me know who I am as a writer— a writer of wine, life, and whatever else.
Bottled dithyrambs, bottle-dithyramb… what I’m to write maybe for the rest of my life. But how do I do that if I don’t taste? Good point. Get creative.. be honest, I mean.. don’t make shit up and say you tasted when you didn’t…. But, be a writer.. breath in the olfactory terrene, and note that character. The wines here are so dashingly consistent and coherent, commanding and consistent, that if you write on nose alone you’ll have enough material. Not sure who I’m talking to right now… me or other writers of wine, trying to teach, no… which reminds me, I have to email students as I missed class last night, locked down at other Foley property with guests, selling those lovely people three bottles of SB and a few other bottles to a couple that professed only love for the portfolio and what it produces. Love that wine can do that… that it can make people chase something, hold to moments and memories and want to relive them repeatedly and with tireless amour…
09:17. Have to write faster. Maybe the wine last night didn’t want me writing about it. Never thought about that. I mean, it is rather selfish of us, writers, to use something for topic, as a subject, to fill the screen, the pages rather than getting to know whatever entity is our focus. (That’s what I’m trying to do as a wine journalist, or writer, is better know wine and see wine as more than wine, but a being, a creature, a collection of thought… history.) But, that’s what we do, so the justification isn’t so much sound as it is staunch. Forgot where I was for a minute so I look up and see more sun touching the vineyards… the Cabernet blocks right at my 12. Have to get out there for a walk today… not something I’ll let myself omit from day’s pages. Notes from last night, what I could find… can’t remember if I only noted in Comp Book or this laptop, but, “…lavender charcoal stars, black cherry spins and spice nebula…” Had to have been right before I went to bed. A wine hasn’t done that to me in a while… smitten but confused. My telling of wine is making a u-turn, telling me to approach it differently. How, I don’t know. Hoping the day’s pedagogy frees me.
July 4th… free in my wine freewriting. Is that my “style” of journalism? Is it journalism or diarism? Is it a blend? No more questions.. just write. You have to “clock in” soon, even though in my mind I’m already working with wine and selling wine but more the holistic approach to selling which isn’t ‘selling’ at all. People should see this winery because it will add to their collective experience and not just their wine collection or pictures in vineyards…. Wineries like this offer new thoughtful and meditative lens.
The vineyard’s talking to me from down there, down by my car, it orders me to get into character, start setting up for the day… smell wines but don’t taste a single one of them.. walk around, become the property and its story, the entire bottled inventory… be IT.