Could have been here earlier, but Jack got sick in back of car and I had to him hurry to wife’s parents’ home in Oakmont. About to walk into winemaking team break room but they appeared to be in some deeply involved and serious discussion about what to do for day and week to vintage’s wines, I’m sure. Driving over Fountaingrove through all that fog and with ruin all around me, listening to whatever chilled, downtempo track then played, my thoughts were everywhere. I couldn’t center on much. Thought of what a metaphor and statement that is for me, and how that has to change. Feel like I have what some, especially my students, would call writer’s block but I won’t let it materialize and certainly not take over this writer, dominate is diction and destiny in these final NaNoWriMo doses.
Coffee wasn’t ready when I was allowed in room, see if it is now…. Full cup and jazz in ears. Switched from that desk where my back would be at door to the usual folding desk I have here in middle of floor, in cubicleville. No need to be blocked, or stopped, not with all this wine around me and the classes I have to tomorrow teach. Yesterday, brainstorming heavily on my wine business, my shop— and do I want to be an online retailer and merchant or do I want a physical shop, location? Much riskier with a structure. Find myself annealing, new sculpture of self, then another new one, but all having to do with this world and industry I’m in. Don’t stop with wine musings and thoughts no matter where they fly and which thought branches they land on, it’s wine-related.
Opened no new bottles last night, but sipped from a Pinot I had open from whenever. I don’t allow self to get complacent, tasting the same wines over and over and having to describe them to people day after day. That’s where wine meets the literary. Find another way to narrate. Should make myself after these morning thousand get out into the Cabernet blocks on the higher part of the property and take a couple still pictures of the water on the trellising wires, the leaves, just walk around. So much to see in the world pertaining to wine, this county— Mon Dieu, this property. How many rows do I have to walk, still, for the the first time? Don’t want to think about it, just get out there. Made a list of wines I’d have in my shop, yesterday, on a piece of receipt paper. Just found it, in pocket… Dutcher Crossing, St. Francis, Kuleto, Roth, among others. But how do I get started, what do I investigate in this second day of brainstorming, or dreaming, or planning? Need to have all notes in one place, in one of those little notebooks I took from this office, the black one that has some notes in it but it doesn’t matter. Just taking notes… wine in all its shapes and sirens, widening to me and sirening to my receptive ends and wanting me here in the office, then out in the vineyard.. no reason to be still with all this around a writer.
I’m here now. Forget about earlier. My poor little beatnik not feeling himself fully, and if I had my shop I’d have him either come with me or someone else could stand and watch the shop while I work and sell from home. The morning tells my thoughts to be everywhere, to be mad, to burn and burn more then simmer and be like the fog over the Fountaingrove foundations, streetlights which I’m not sure are ever anymore turned on. Belauding the tanks as I walked past them. I’m here. At the winery. A Monday, a day people hate in their lives and workweek but a day I can barely wait for, seeing the winemaker with his team in huddle, musing new approaches and ways to touch the ’17 characters to pull the most expression they can. At a winery, but more than just “at a winery”. Part of it. Speaking its language, its tongue, her hue and decisions that the winemaking team isn’t privy to. “Wine is alive, a living thing..” How many times do you, I, hear that? It’s more than “alive”, and she’s not alive as you and I are. But more. Far reaching into metaphysical variables and vortexes, intersections and shapes, scapes.
Just wrote, “Tasting Room Bar” in the little book, today’s little page. Yes, I dodge risk by having the shop online, somewhat, but I don’t want to be without risk. And this, this tasting room and its bar, is a measured risk. Actually, it’s not really measured, and not much a “risk”, as the tasting room is where I feel most at home, most comfortable, where all this writing comes from. Not measured, as it’s entirely instinctual, what I have to do, what I’m meant to do. The poetry in this world and this stage, domain and frame is musical the same way Miles tells his notes to me through these little earphones. Wine’s a business, I know, thank you, but to me and anyone hearing me it’s an intangible. It’s haunting, ghostly, omnipresent.
Feel like I’m just getting warmed up with these inaugural reflections and observations… one of the winemaking chaps walks down the stairs to the floor, to check on something I’m sure. I in my head walk to the front door of my shop.. to the counter, set down keys and coffee, turn on lights and start inventory, what I need and what I already have plenty of. Merlots… want a couple more, after all it is the beat-up Bordeaux that made a writer serious about wine and its meditations. At Thanksgiving, had two open on table, a ’13 and ’14 from Roth. I still side with the ’13, and that’s just the kind I’d order… so, order put in. Check on Cabs, Zins, Pinots, Sauv Blancs…