MY Winery Story…..


Went tasting at a winery down the road from my winery–er, the one I work with–and experienced different interpretations, studies and soundings, of certain varietals. And I took away the impressions they left, or that some of them left. No names at the moment as it’s not important, just know I noticed what the wines said and I’m home now, much later, sorting out everything in my head– the thoughts and the musings of varietals and the interpretations of varietals.
First, I’m a writer, but now I’m a winemaker learning, and right now I’m exploring Pinot from the winery and remembering what I today tasted. But I’m in a bit of a mood, and this is the writer in me, how do winemakers do what they do if they’re in a mood? The ride to work today, with the music that I randomly collided with on Wohler Road, and what– I don’t know what. I’m in a mood. And I know winemakers can’t get like this, right? They don’t fall into these falls, do they? I need a morning session, and I need to be more organized like a winemaker– so today’s notes involve, so far: varietal appreciation (of interpretation), and battling mood, attitude; and organization of everything, EVERYTHING! If I can’t organize or better sort my affairs personal then how could I ever expect to run my own label?

Landed some contract writing beats today, by phone from a contact of a contact– so thankful, and this motivates the writer evermore to get to his wine label, know what hotels to refer to my guests– and the more I delineate reflectively, the more I want a tasting room, a centered place where I can show people what I’ve done with the grapes and from where I can endorse and recommend, and to other family businesses, like B&B’s, restaurants, cafés, what resounds with the community. And I make wine like I write, with the ethic and knowledge that I write more and with an un-mirrored vivacity.. and continuous and demonstrated.
Jackie’s Spiderman toy to my right, here on the kitchen island surface, reminding my that my label, my winemaking aims are for family, igniting a family business culture that will give my son and any other children the option of coming to the family business, to the story of wine–

Watching time evaporate like patience of an inmate and I’m indeed jailed

The Wohler Bridge, Russian River Valley
The Wohler Bridge, Russian River Valley
in this wine life– funny note: saw a car in front of me, at one of the stops, or the only stoplight on River Road, with a license plate that insinuate with such acronym, ‘Wine Life’. I had to smirk and know that was some sign from the story, telling the writer that he’s on the right winemaking path. Now I sip a Pinot, from where it doesn’t matter, just know I note and know it’s meant to be in the glass now for me to study and converse with– part of the story, my story as an adjudged winemaker.


“Now, where’s the manufacturing part to this gig?”

she said, as we made our way down the hill, driving right at 10 mph.  She was from New York, and with her husband, a glowing supporter of our wines.  She, an adamant admirer.  Tonight, I’m back to wine, no beer.  ’09 Sonoma Valley Cabernet, lower elevation.  Talked to Mom, she said she spoke with Katie, and that she’s bringing something back from France for me.  A bottle of wine?  A new winemaking reference [book]?  Who knows.  But, I have resolved that I’m detaching from beer for a while, re-focusing on wine for a while.  Especially with my winemaking aims restored, resurrected, restructured.  Early this morning, made a copy of direct winemaker tech notes on tonight’s ’09 Cab.  Already know how it tastes–well, I remember how it tasted three days ago.  And, that was a starkly contrasting character from what I met only days before that.  That’s what I love about Cabernet as a varietal.. its meandering ways; phantasmagoric, entrapping; a cooperative curse.

The gentleman from today’s tour, his wife as well: huge Zinfandel chasers.  Me, not of their palate pursuit, but I really enjoyed being in their passion’s proximity.  Even further convinced me that I need my label airborne.  No money thrown into the envelope today.  And that’s fine, as I see.  Tomorrow, though, I’m hoping for some gratuities, as it’s Saturday, and it’s expected to be in the 80s.  Not too hot, just what everybody hopes for coming to wine’s land from out-of-state.  Want to do this the same way the Kosta Browne crew built their operation.  From tips.  So, tomorrow, planning on mustering wine magic.  And, I’ll still get material.  Win-win.

Still haven’t printed that pages I wanted to from this morning.

10:16pm.  Just writing to write, I feel.  With this day’s latter portion.  This Cab, of French and Hungarian [oak] influence.  Musically assimilated personas from oak’s view.  Like this kind of CS, one that doesn’t overstep, one that inspires.  Used to say that I was a calm Cabernet, or that I wanted to be one.. we’ll see.  In my little pages, I drew a sample by-vintage plan for whoso.  Each year, producing two SB’s; one 100% stainless, the other 70% stainless, 30% French oak (maybe 1-2 years used); two Syrahs: one, 100% Syrah Noir, the other, of various clones, and 70% French oak, 30 neutral French.  Then, 3 different style Cabs.  What those would be, entail, deliver.. I didn’t specify.  Have to enjoy my sips to dive further into this wined vagary.

Definitely need to continue with this dialogue trap I have set for any character near me.  It’s proving far to amusing to just pull.  When traveling, I can only imagine the different people that’ll offer free material for these pages.  Suddenly feeling more than confident.  With another sip of this ’09 SoValley CS, I’m hovering above anxiety, laughing at it.  Taunting it, daring it to make another pass.  Looking at the clock, a little behind schedule for night.  Can hear the crickets from this side of kitchen’s window, its shudders.  What are they telling me?  Couldn’t just be nothing.. Nana used to tell me their chirps mean it’ll be hot the next day.  Good, I’m thinking.  That’ll being sippers to Kenwood.

Wine WriteMaking

Tomorrow, event at AV Winery.  “Taste of Alexander Valley,” you can bet I’ll have my camera equipment on person.  More interested in video, than stills, for some reason.  Did a beer tasting at work, one I’ve never before sipped, with three coworkers–Drew, Beth, David.  Now, sipping ’09 Merlot (8% Petite Sirah, 3% Cab blended in).  All day today, in winemaker mind.  I also reasoned, that if I never set foot in a classRoom again, in exchange for a life of Art, Creating, Winemaking, I’m more than at peace with such settlement.

Did one tour today.  Two people, father & daughter.  Just to hear how they spoke of wine, how the father enumerated memories of dinners with wine, how his daughter is just getting connected with wined moments, made me even more convinced that I need to make wine, just as I want people moved by pages I write.  Speak with terroir; Through it, within it…  I need to write that Something, whatever shape it’s to take.  And produce that bottle of wine, whether raw or “refined.”

Right when I got home, returned to a verse in the Comp Book that I began over a month ago.  Actually, just three days under a month ago, today.  The blog, starting to fade in visits and views.  How do I remedy this?  Tomorrow could be a prime opportunity for exposure, gaining new readership.  You know what, I’m not planning, not right now.  This moment’s for writing.  And sipping this ’09.  Funny, noticing notes I didn’t in my last visit.  Definitely more blueberry, more espresso, dark chocolate, and damp thick soil.  Tonight’s profile, more enigmatic than the last.  Not to say I necessarily like it better, just more colorfully cryptic.  More mystery, I guess I’d say.  Thinking I should blend some Merlot into my eventual Syrah, less than 10%.  But I’d have to consort with Kaz, or Katie, just to be sure my ambition’s not getting upper-hands on reasoning.


Had a dream last night that I wanted to write a novel, some book that would change everything, that would bring me Autonomy, but I couldn’t focus to the point of even beginning.  Couldn’t even write the first word, just kept meandering scene to scene, watching other live.  Remember waking, feeling it wasn’t much of a dream at all.  Why have I not finished a book, yet?  Why am I not writing for a living?  I mean, is it a confidence issue?  Is it an attention issue?  A blend of both?  Whatever it is, it’s stopping now, tonight, with this sip.  IT has to.  Not going to try writing like other authors, muddy mimicry, just going to commit to a page amount.  My writing’s randomly streamed, seamed; various pieces whimsically teamed.  I’ll do that till I reach my page amount.  Page amount?  That’s not me.  Certainly not Literary.  “What’s you book about?” I can just hear people asking.  How do I respond?  What kind of book is it?  A novel?  I guess…  Written the same way songwriters compose on buses.  How poets write lines while waiting in coffee shop or DMV lines.

Meeting in Kenwood tomorrow, 8:30am.  Don’t have to show for tomorrow’s event till 1p.  Thinking of how to manage my time.  Also deliberating on how to finish a couple spoken word pieces.  I think it’s admirably demented how much I think about writing, my projects.  Need to think and concentrate more on winemaking, offer written response to my research, what I learn, new ideas.  This Merlot, telling me to defy everything in way of expectation, regulation, standardization.  It also, only in the last sip,  whispers a coy caramel coo.  With my biz stash, injected into my credit card balance, I have to start over.  Especially if I’m to buy that Sauvignon Blanc fruit from Kaz.  And where I’ll get funding for this vintage’s wine with Katie, no idea.  Maybe I won’t need any.  St. Francis was humblingly supportive with our ’11 effort.  Maybe the same’ll be true this, so far dream-like, vintage.

(5/17/12, Thursday)