Creative Positivism, 11

Today, set to be the best in a while, getting writing for winery done and a blog post for the project the owner and I have.  Then, tonight’s lecture, back to Plath and all her inner workings and dreams and symmetries…  “Kiss me and you will see how important I am…”

Looking out at the vineyards and just having a chat with Nick the winemaker a second ago on the edge of the Cabernet block closest to the office where now I type, I need to be out there more.  At lunch, a walk to my spot, under the tree, shaded by the riverbed.. a winemaker I know says, and has always said, “…if you want to make wine you need to be out in the vineyard, always.” The same for this writer, as well.

Today.  Forcing it to be the most enriching of my life.  Watch…  This is more than mere optimism, or repeated affirmations.   This is a fruitful fruition that only I can and will materialize and make something I can in my hand hold.

12:56PM—  waiting for Mezzaluna from Oakville to get here.  Yes I brought lunch but as always when someone offers to get us something or tells they’re going somewhere for lunch, you hop on that wagon.  So here I am at my desk, working, thinking about lunch, looking out at the vineyard after a short sprint to the Grenache block, looking around for changing colors and finding nothing but I walked on and enjoyed what the vineyard told me, those little gusts and the sun, quite intent with its temperature today.

Ready for lecture tonight.  Poetry.  Seeing everything as poetry and tonight you can bet  I will type those pieces on my desk.  Also eager for tonight after meeting with Debra, Dutcher’s owner, and she speaking on having a job vs. a career, or lifestyle— your work being who you are, not just what you do.  Today HAS proven to be MINE, and meant for my story and getting me closer to travel, to the Road, to Spain.

4:41, minutes away from departure.  Thinking about tomorrow’s run, how far I want to go.  Do I want double digits, or something within an hour, see what I can put up in 60 minutes?  I’ll see what the story tells me to do.  Today was more than productive, it was expository and encouraging, electric and musical.  And I’ll keep this going till and past class.

10:25PM—  Going to type poem I started to write in class, while students were looking for poetic waves in Plath’s prose.  I start the piece with “Lines colored bottles all sipped/before deadline. Line dead…” Poetry again taking me in the direction I need go.  Feel like it’s been in the back ground for so long to fiction experiments and narrative hiatuses, or whatever, but here I am, back with my first love— verse, rimes, lone lines, lines play and breaks…

Had a thought but lost it.. thinking about Nick and I in the vineyard.. then poetry… reciting verses, readings….. fuck, it’s lost.  Was it something about Plath?—  Shouldn’t curse.  Not creative, not positive.  Sorry…


NaNoWriMo, near neb

“I’m giving my notice tomorrow, a 90 day heads-up.”

Now this I didn’t expect.  She’s quitting?  Obviously to either go somewhere else or start her own thing but I doubt she has the capital for that as she just bought the Sonoma house and hasn’t much settle, and was just last night talking about some remodeling notions, ‘what is this’ I ask myself and how concerned should I or shouldn’t I be.  “What brought this to the table?  Did something happen?”

“Nothing happened?  It’s just time.”

“And money?”

“What about it?”

“Do you have enough?  Are you going to work for someone else or……..”

“I’m doing it, starting the label, I have to.”

MOCK SOMM:  2 Wines from Jesse Katz 

Aperture Cellars, Alexander Valley, Red Wine, 2011

IMG_9274A wildly vocal blend, Bordeaux varietals, Cab/Malbec, and one that commands the sipper to be lost, twirled and whirled in the body of the wine and its speech; darkness of berries and vibrant and confident presence, impact and influence on senses.  And, you taste more than structure, you’re greeted by a communicative being from the bottle; the words and story of the vintage and winemaker, Alexander Valley’s relentless promulgation of Bordeaux varietals.  There’s no halt to this wine’s momentum and palate placement.  Like his father’s photos, you’re caught, not anytime soon release but held in one place to appreciate and be lost in the visual, the scene created and captured, measured and treasured.  Of course I’m partial loving Cabernet and Bordeaux blends, and being one of those fervent followers of Katz, and his father’s work, but I’m instructed to appreciate Cabernet and Cab-honed blends differently with this bottle and most notably since it’s from ’11, the vintage that so IMG_9275many of these wine “experts” and “critics” want to dismiss so knee-jerkingly.  This wine is a taste of place, the alchemical invitation to experience stylistic translation of Cabernet meeting Malbec in bottle, in the perfect accompaniment, actuating its own autonomous atmosphere.  This wine reminds me of my relationship with wine, frankly, what I’m after and what I’ve been after in wine; Literary qualities, a story, the sipped-written; Wines that have their own character development and past, future, that are part of my present.  And I found another, finally, from an old friend, now infused to my wined picture and life more clearly– another sip, and I hear its voice.  Again, again…


Devil Proof Vineyards, Alexander Valley, Malbec, 2012

IMG_9041A Malbec, on its own, defiant in its delicious dichotomy of a disposition.  Loud and assertive but still very much elegant and poetic, not at all overreaching or stretching into a stance it shouldn’t.  A harmony of red coupled with its principles as a Bordeaux.  And you’re thinking to yourself, “And this is 100% Malbec?” And yes, there’s no support from another varietal, and no odd adjustments or anything strange in the writing of its story.  And like other wines from Katz, we see that understanding, and that winemaker influence and innovation sans trumping the identity of the varietal itself.  So then… we sip again, and experience what wine should be, or wine of this elevation; Art.  A story, a new story and new IMG_9044adventure for Jesse, when I asked him how he knew it was time to begin his new mission and venture he simply responded with “It was the right time.”  and it was the right time in my oeno-apologue to meet this bottle, having me feel immune and impervious to all ill elements, and how could I be harmed with such didactic wine in my glass, and the woman smiling back at me, holding her cigar herself aware that nothing and intrude on her proverbial quietude?  Cinnamon singing from rich raspberry and antagonizing cherry and other wild berry suggestion, lively spice song and tannic accents supply memorable structure, and more story, more memory, and what critics say about Mr. Katz’s passion project matters but doesn’t.  There’s mastery, visible, tasted, cellared or poured, it’s there at your table and you live, feel, and see it.  All.  And you’re proof that nothing negative can puncture you’re moment.  So you smile with her.


Let the

3PM-ers out, and I don’t care.  I was nowhere near a teaching mood today.  Haven’t eaten so I’m a bit hungry, but I’m agitated, by my own procrastinating qualities, and the knowledge that I could be doing more, working harder as a writer and blogger and business owner, I guess.  So what to do?  The angle of being a father, I need to record that more, more writing on Jackie and my relationship with my best little Beatnik friend.. everything from where we go and at what times and what he says and how I see him fitting into the eventual winery, other than being the cute little guy that says “HI!” when you walk in.  Which he doesn’t do often, say ‘hi’ to unknowns.  But I need to capitalize on the material that he is as a character– and before you say it’s trivial, such and approach, or objectifying him or just using my son as content or marketing fader, NOT TRUE.  It’s praise of him and sharing how thankful I am for this little Artist in my life, and how he makes me a more centered writer–  I really should go get him now but I needed to record this, what I’m feeling and hearing in my nuclei.

Now I’m seeing more stories.  Again I have to return to the reality and the trial and trails of the adjunct, and why so many of us leave “the profession” and why we blog as we do.  The adjunct tale, how we count the weeks in the semester especially in a semester where we, I, we, maybe took a class at a campus we don’t entirely adore.–  In the breakroom writing then two adjuncts, both high school English teachers come in and bitch about the papers they have to hand back, “come-to-Jesus moment,” Vanessa says, then she goes off on the food on campus, all complaints, and not only from her, from me, all of us.  At first I got tired of hearing them, most especially my own–  Now she continues on about how she just went out to eat, the other adjunct asks about a corkage fee and she boasts how she doesn’t drink, “so the wine thing doesn’t interest me.” Sounded arrogant.  And embittered, probably from the papers she had to grade and now has to tonight return.  And, with all embrace and speed, I empathize.  So firingly, quite aligned with her thoughts.  So we’re all fucking bitter, in certain moments.

Home, I open a bottle of the Merlot I made in ’12, and what vroom, what vivacious algorithmic velocityIMG_9099 to its everything, EVERYTHING.  This is the wine I should make, for the rest of my life.  If this were for sale in my tasting room, and that’s how I;m tasting it, as a consumer, a first-time visitor, I quite enjoy it.  Believable and emboldened fruit formation with a romantic texture and consistency, sip 1 to last.  Lovely.  And I don’t want to talk about wines like I always do but I quite like this, if you must know.  Time for one more class, the night’s cap before my long day come morrow…  Just smelled the Merlot, from the final glass I poured myself and I had to walk away and record my reaction; the rich lavender, cherry and cinnamon, throwing their noted bodies into my perception.  This is just the wine I want to make.  And I have.  I did!  So I have to do it again, soon.

New note, that I again sip after washing my hands in the small powder room by the wine cabinet; dried rose petal, or spicy potpourri.  I may have had too much and my senses compromised but I’m not distracted by my phone or some message that may or may not be waiting for me who cares right now I’m a writer writing stopping for nothing not even punctuation– I know I’m viewed as scattered, a backwards swirling universe or maelstrom, but I’m writing at least and so much fearlessly.  But something in me still thickly loves to teach, to interact with and talk to students about books and writing; to Exchange Ideas, as Coleman put it.  And my approach to this wine thing is just that: an Exchange of Ideas.  Not trying to “educate” anyone, just hoping to share the love and fascination with the world and terrestrially vinified galavant around us.

Can’t believe I made this wine– well, with much help from my friend Blair, yes, but it was my idea to start.  That is, this wine couldn’t and wouldn’t be sipped now by the writer if I hadn’t had the curiosity–  I remember the day the wine arrived to the K—- crush pad, the dry ice being added, and then when it was in the back room, cold soaking.. dark, rested, sumptuous and taunting.  So it is now, when I sip, poking at my composure and daring me to analyze it, to describe what I taste– but what if I just want to sip?

Beatifically Mad Again

This morning, oh this morning with my little technology skirmish and remembering last night with Mom and Dad and the wines we opened and surveyed, Dad speaking of the Devil Proof Malbec as one of if not the best wine I’ve ever put before him.  And those are the the caliber wines I hope to soon make for my admirers– or not even those admiring my writing or wines, just those lending me their time to taste and interact with my efforts.  Feel like I’ve already had too much coffee this morning but the Beat brews himself another cup.  This morning jotted some thoughts while Alice relaxed on the couch, stretching out her legs rubbing her stomach communicating gently but intently with little Emma, Jack running around with his lucky rock and a quarter– “Wine from removed objective, perspective; which includes no sipping, small or significant, nothing, taking a full step back and simply observing; the sippers and their questions, their trips and their planned tastings, how they talk to each other at the bar and how they wish they could stay out here just one more day, not go back to work and how if only they could win the lotto and move out here, just drink wine and eat wonderfully like that’s all the people of Healdsburg and Sonoma County do.” So many visions and entertainments cognitively and analytically yesterday in the Sanglier tasting room and more today to be sure, from talking about the wines or just watching people pass the tasting room, not wanting to come in for whatever reason.  Wine and my relationship with it, my “end game”, making my writings more “evergreen” as Sean the editor put it.  I’m changing I realize as a character, a precise beatific remolding of my mold and manuscript from day to day, questions and answers, submissions of assignments to myself and my readers, and one day my babies reading my work, like a student again me the writer professor whatever I’m calling my self this week.

Haven’t sipped the coffee yet, afraid to, don’t want to jitter with too much jolt to be sure, or unsure, who’s really sure of what they want and how they see themselves in 10 years.. me, 46, is that even possible?  Time will have its way and victory and I loathe it for that in so many tactical ways–  There, sip 1, small and polite, not too loud.  The mornings I’d spend in the Kenwood market parking lot or the overflow lot at the old winery, in my head now thinking of how that seems like a far forever ago but I’m here now in my home office listening to Hutcherson’s tunes as I do, like I did then before work, with one of those breakfast burritos and sparkling waters or Dr. Peppers, venomizing my words and thoughts toward that place and why I was there at 35, with a wife and son and still in a condo– “Why don’t I have my own business yet?” I remember so many times writing and blogging and saying to myself as I’d walk through those two tall doors to the tasting room, my peace broken having to leave the quiet concentration of my car writing to be a clock-controlled bot.  But no more.. with the Autumn Walk and mikemadigancrEATive shop I have too many new beginnings, new promises and stories.  I can only be Zen, wrapped in my anti-Nietzschean melodies and scales played on this neo-underwood.  I wish.. just another piece of technology I’m dependent upon.. so badly want to write like Kerouac, with complete and vocally blazing autonomy, no device doting, but I can’t I’m in this time and at this desk, but I see the class half full.  And half is as good or glorious and completion, a heaping wave of fortune and blessings [pardon the word, if you know me and my Agnostic folding)–

So lovely writing freely this morning, with this jazz and coffee, my little notebook and nothing else.  Found an old picture of Jack yesterday or the day before of him sitting up, less that a year old, holding one of my Composition books.  Three years ago, more, and here I am how did I get here and why doesn’t time just slow down for the writer/winemaker just a little bit.  Another note from this morning: “Disgusted by pop culture music its lazy ways and instant attention and fame and praise while real writers and thinkers hurt & hunger”.  It truly does make me sick.  I have to exercise more crEATivity.  Especially with my new hostility toward academia.  Solano being the prime evidential submission, how they boast they support adjunct faculty and promote all this activism but put such poster or quasi-banners in the most unnoticed and trafficked areas.  How is that support?  And not only that, stick us in that pen, that holding cell.  I won’t let it ruin my morning– I’ll write faster and with more creative craze than any of those sweatyhog full-timers.  And what can they do?  I mean, if you truly pose that question and dissect and explore hypotheticals, you notice ‘nothing’.  They can’t touch us.  As with me, we can leave the profession and more than likely be better off.  As some full-timers may have wine or something else as a hobby or sidejob, I do the same reversed.. winemaker and writer just teaching for fun.. truly for the love of students.

I stretch and breath and love my morning even more.  Another small tilt of my coffee cup and thinking about the day of content and material in front of me I smile, for me and Jack, Ms. Alice and Ms. Emma when she arrives, just over two months ahead of now.  My little girl, sure to be immensely proud of her writer/winemaker father, rising early like farmers and winemakers during harvest, never stopping for anything or anyone.. just working and building the story as winemakers build their brand and story and explore varietals, further specializing their tone and talk and grapetrot–  MY beat intensifies this morning and me along the keyboard, pretending it’s an underwood, that I’m Kerouac, the next morning after some party or some interaction with another beat–  I want to stay at this desk all day but I know I can’t I have to be out there gathering, hunting materials and characters, those tourists that step to the bar for the first time, saying how much they love the wine, how they can’t wait for their shipment to arrive at their house, sharing the wine at a table– new thesis for me as a consumer, keep exploring; keep with the questions; forever be a student of Life and wine and writing, Literature– bring the new Kerouac novel to the tasting room, be a Kerouac– or no: more a MADIGAN.

Stretching again and letting another jazz track play before stopping and getting in shower.  In this morning’s session, nothing can hurt me– nothing, no obligation or bill or deadline, no assignment or hostile student, no client or anything.  No weather no taxes no threats, no impending El Niño.  No. Thing.  A writing session at the Oakville grocery sounds sumptuous in its own angularity today but I won’t.  I will stay behind that Sanglier bar and pretend it’s my TR, my winemaking efforts being sold and disseminated.  And what a story of Glenn, a farmer once in the corporate world, rewriting his story and having everything go as he wanted it to, how he measured– “If I told you, I’d sound arrogant,” he once said when I asked him if this is how he saw it developing, how his business and move from Texas forwarded.  And just as he saw, and how could that be seen as arrogant, his response?  Only admirable.  What he did, the “re-write” if you will, is just what I’m doing, what’s been set in motion with mmc, and the new blog– the visual approach to wine and its scenes and shots.

And like that.. onto page 3 you find me.

Thrall Depth

IMG_9018Finally at the desk to write freely.  Met with winemaker friend Jesse earlier, and before so met with Gary, former K—- friend for some tasting, the Stonestreet set.  Not a “bad” wine there, not in any respect or ramble.  In fact, I just finished my second glass from the Chardonnay I bought today.. nice oak ebb with syllabic fruit form and arrangement, placement.  Just another brilliant Chardonnay in this recent white wine rile I’ve been on.  Thinking what else I have to do tonight.. more house-keeping keeps; officialize website, order business cards…  I now see that this content marketing shop will interfere with certain or all writing urgencies– but “Mike Madigan, Author” is an mmc client, so not too much can off the ledge leap.  OH– want a night’s capping.  But what?  More Chard, or one of the Lagunitas?

Smelled the fermentation again today, just on the “Walk” patio, this morning, so now I’m promise a future in wine, making wine for my own label like my friend Jesse and touring the country for pourings and explanations as to why I made the wine I did and whatIMG_9024 food I’d pair it with– actually, I want to have food in mind while making my wines, as my sister explained at Dad’s 70th, while introducing the Chardonnay and telling a story of how Mom would not just cook to and with it but sip it as well.  Everything I do now is WINE, and all stories are wine-sewn, as so many people talk about terroir I seek to be one truly living it, like Glenn, like Jesse, like my sister– in the vineyard and seeing what the vines want us as winemakers to say.. now, we may not always agree, but there can be a certain syllabic synergy, most luminously.

Tomorrow I’m in the Sanglier tasting room, learning from Chelsea and learning more about their model and wines and how the wines are spoken, what they orate in the TR context–

IMG_9026Just checked on my little Beat, qualmless in his sleep, dreaming of things I;m sur eI have no idea how to interpret, jaded as I am with my age and advance life lording.  Night’s cap, at left, a Lagunitas.. should go in other room to watch what I want, something for next week’s lectures.. secured classes for next semester, today; a 5 and a 1A.  Remembering when I first started teaching and how eager I was and how I’d go anywhere and teach anywhere, any class and at any place– so eager and they know that they feed on it and us, our optimism and open bags, notebooks and car doors; we’re on the fucking freeway more than at that class’ helm.

But that stops for me.


This semester.

And next.

And after next, if I get to next, I’ll be a winemaker, writing fulltime and only having priority and universal impetus in my own layered notes and whimsical musings, all wine-riled and ruled.

Such kalological code.

MOCK SOMM: Interview with Arista Winery Winemaker, Matt Courtney

I started by asking him what his “oenological voice” was, rather than just plainly what his style was in IMG_8912his mind.  He smiled lightly, and said that would be a question better suited for someone like me, a writer.  He then added that he didn’t think that most winemakers approached making wine with a style in mind, it’s more a matter of making the best wine you can, the most expression of site.  The “style” that so many address is more an understanding from the consumer’s mentality.  He said he can speak on what his goals are, his approach, and that is about as close as he could get to answering me–  But more than anything, he noted, “I want to make wines that are delicious, that are profound, but that are balanced.” And if you taste the Arista lineup, the appellation blends or single vineyard translations, Chardonnay or Pinot, you’ll appreciate this methodology and practice, as it’s palatably executed.

Matt’s character is empowered by his synthesis with his favored varietals, not inoculating with any commercial strains of yeast or malic bacteria.  You can blow out the nuances of a given site if you overwhelm it with commercial yeasts, he stated with low-volume, easing and nearly poetic rhythm to his speech.  The emphasis is on the vineyard, and doing an unprecedented familiarity with the vineyard site so that when the fruit comes in, it’s only a matter of shepherding the wine, as he said, through vinification.

“You are stripping something away, even if you improve it,” he says about fining and filtration.  Maximum amount of material in the bottle, he stressed.  I told him I found his style of winemaking as more “truthful”.  He preferred the word “transparent”, that gives the sipper the most optimal picture of the microclimate and geographic specificity where the wine comes from.  You’re stripping less away, you’re adding less.  It’s clear Mr. Courtney values the site where the Pinot and Chardonnay come from, and how that site can be tasted and the picture needs to be maintained, shepherded as he said.  “We’re measuring three times before we cut.”

Chardonnay and Pinot to this winemaker walk a funny balance, in that they can be light on their feet, as he specified, but also be complex and layered.  It’s a magic trick, he said, trying to have either of those varietals be that delicious dichotomy, keeping them interesting and captivating.  “I want people to go back for that next glass.”

He likes Chardonnay that’s diligent and develops in the bottle.  And with the Chardonnays he’s produced for Arista, since his start in 2013, we see this bright presence of fruit but yet this interesting palate weight and unique complexity, layered and savoringly compounded with flavor.  He said that Chardonnay and Pinot can be all things to all people in ways that other varieties can’t.  And that ties into this assertion of the magic trick.  There’s a special relationship with this winemaker and these two potentially moody varietals.  And his Pinots demonstrate the same verisimilitude and ardor as the Chardonnay, just ten, twenty-fold.  His Pinots provide this tasty spacial awareness.

Our talk was briefly interrupted by one of his crew members coming in to ask him a question, something about malolactic fermentation, or something.  Can’t remember precisely but it reminded me I was taking him from his day, that these winemakers, especially of this stratum, are always moving, always measuring three or four times then deciding, deciding…  So I had to close, quickly.  Of course Matt being the convivial chap he is didn’t say anything of any dire or rushed tenor, but I intensified my momentum. 

“Really quick, thoughts on ’15…” An interesting year in his mind, partially because of the drought, but as well attributed to the early bud break and the challenging weather during fruit setting.  Diminished yields in some sites, and some vineyards hit much harder than others.  But, in his words, “very variable”.  This will affect the amount of fruit yielded.  He also cited the uneven ripening and the heat spikes have provided challenges in their own arena, making it “interesting” as he said.  But he assures the wines in tank and in barrel are tasting quite good.

I told him that I heard some people, some winemakers say the shatter out there is “winemaker shatter.” He smirked, and said, “I don’t even know what that means.” But Matt expressed optimism about the wines that were fermenting and vinifying, and he again returned to this subject of shatter, and said that in some of his vineyards it didn’t harm the pick and eventual fermenting wines that much.

We returned to the topic of Arista, and what the winery, or label has done for him as a winemaker, and then I had to ask him which of his wines, notably the 13’s, is his favorite.  “That’s like asking which of your kids is your favorite,” he said.

“Which of your kids is your favorite?” I said, laughing, then he laughed, but he then disclosed that he holds a beaming affinity for the estate wines, the Two Birds and Harper’s Rest Pinots.  If you’ve ever had these wines before you can see why–  bold and complex, the volume and layered magical beauty of each…

We closed our conversation with the new production facility on the Westside property and getting the vineyards to where they want them to be, to always push the envelope of quality, getting the vines in better health, year to year.  Again, only optimism and a soft, understated but still vibrantly visible confidence about this winemaker, and for anyone loving wine, it rubs off on you.  You’ll walk away from the chat, length no matter, feeling closer to wine, closer to Arista if you’re already a fan.

“It’ll be a huge help for us in the cellar,” he noted, when the facility is on the property.  Getting more precise with irrigation strategies… vine-water status…  “There’s no limit to how good we can get, that’s what keeps it fun.” Again, the yay-saying sentiment I expected from him toward the end of our talk.  So his “style”, or his voice, if I can attach a new “descriptor”– balanced, just like what he aims to bottle year to year.  And, profound, whether he intends it or no.  Balanced in his tone, his demeanor, and his explanations.  Profound in his presence.

Oh, then there’s the extraordinary, magical wines he brings to fruitful fruition.  There’s that, too.  So, I, the writer, goes back for that second glass.


Another Island

IMG_8805 Wine, today was all wine.  But as well, a return to running.  6.2 treadmill miles today, then home to shower before the crushpad, where the Cabernet, the last Sanglier lot as I understand was crushed.  Now the writer’s at home, battling several distractions but here in the homestudy writing about the day and how it only moreso convinced me I’m a writing/running winemaker.  Tomorrow morning, although I’m sure the wine will still be felt, I’ll be writing and journaling, inventorying all.  The run is starting to catch me, a bit, but not as much as I thought it would.  Must still be in a bit of shape.  After the 6.2 I took to the basketball court to shoot a few.  But not many.  I know Glenn would call any minute and ask me to come to the press and I did and he later messaged me to be at this house for the wine club/employee/grower event at his house.  Myself, didn’t sip much, but there at home I have surveyed both the La Rochelle Chardonnay and the Selby Merlot.  Not aiming for any level of effect but just to be in wine’s story– the write can only think of how many weeks are left in the semester and how much longer he has to wait to launch both the startup and the website for ‘mmc’.

Smelling the other fermenting wines in that room, one of the barrel rooms showed me what wine can IMG_8812do to senses and the story, how it’s perceived by a writer like me.  A writer– like me.  Down comes Alice, what haveth she to say– “Where’s my ipad?” Then up she goes, pointing out to the writer how big her stomach gets.  I remind her she’s pregnant which is unnecessary but I do to comfort her and she smiles airingly and I can’t help but imagine my little girl here in this house, crawling around like Jackie used to in the condo.  Wine is family, and a family business.  So I need to push harder with mmc and vvv.  There are universes and solar strokes nearing that I never before pictured.  So here it is, what the writer has always wanted and I can’t be slowed even for a minute– I should be drinking coffee right now no worry I will in the morning keeping my story going and all these short stories and narratives involving and revolving wine and winemaking and wine drinking, what the grape says to me, leaving behind the bloody adjunct de-signification, how they lower us and throw us where they need us and– no matter, this semester, F ’15, will be a bold forward in my wine label’s methodology and bottle titles.  Already have one thought of , the “Adjunct’s Succession Blend”.

IMG_8814Now, for cap, the write sips his Lagunitas bottle.  Then I need bed.  A fine rest for the writer and a sturdy state for the winery, Arista, come morrow, where I know I’ll taste more wines, Pinots, and a Zin– oh and that Chard, maybe two.  The writer’s exhaustion him catches but the book grows and I hope to be on the Road soon with my little pages and whatever pens I can steal from the plane and hotel– simplicity in my saunter and syncopation, my synapses rile in new realizations and thought so going back to Mendo someday soon and confronting that tight-greasy-faced pig that rejected my writing pulse, telling him something like “Oh I’m doing fine, I’m writing.. and what are you doing?  OH.. still teaching English at a community college?” And yes that sounds vindictive and petty, ‘cause it is. It’s warranted.

Then I calm down.  It’s the weekend, if I even get those.  Do I?  The downstairs of the Autumn Walk IMG_8824base, quiet, and me with this laptop on my lap and my family upstairs asleep except for possibly Alice who took a nap only a handful of hours ago.. provides the writer some pause, some collection, and another sip of this Lagunitas Sucks– was tempted to have more of that Selby Merlot, but the writer’s done with Merlot tonight, done with wine.  Beer’s what the character craves.  And another cruise through the day’s stills.  So I deep breathe, hear the back neighbors but ignore them, already fantasizing about the coffee– oh, I should make some now, and I would, but I know that would anger Alice. I should be upstairs now but I’m a writer with a flurry of character quirks.


MOCK SOMM:  Cirq , Treehouse Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley, 2012

IMG_8350Waited to open this bottle, and I wish I would have waited longer.  Just to see what else it would say and sing—or more so, wishing I had another 11 bottles.  But this was a gift from Michael Browne himself and I waited for the right occasion, with family, greeted by a rich and prominent palate, convincing and determined with dark meaty fruit qualities and illuminatingly proverbial tannins.  Usually tannin address doesn’t concern me, as I’m looking for fruit composition and profile, but the methods by which these tannins align themselves with the berried tenacity is admirable, worthy of study and ode, the slow sips where you think about what the wine’s telling you—you listen, you let yourself be instructed and shown, shown and delivered to a higher stretch wine wined reflection.  You do nothing but sip.  And slowly.  Study.  Listen, see feel fall and get lost in the fermented translation ebb

This Pinot screams drama and theatricality, not to get attention or connoting that it’s over-extractedIMG_8349 or any intricacy overdone, but that there’s so much attention-deserving dimensions to every step and syncopation of the bottle.  It’s obvious Michael Browne has a precise aim with this Pinot project, just like with the circus and how it seeks to not only entertain but help you escape the clasps of mundane modes and muffles.  Here you’re being shown something, something with Pinot that hasn’t before been done or perhaps even attempted.  And what is that exactly?  Not sure—or, I am sure but not with any words presently to characterize it.  It was an experience, it was visual and vivacious, credible and coded in flavorful aggression.  Not sure how to get another bottle, or if I can, but if I ever do I’ll note while I sip—and that’s another note to note; this wine had the writer solely in sip sequence, sans scribble.  Which never happens.


Matured in Vintage (wine/vino/vin principles, code)

cup 1
cup 1

5:54AM and at keys, no not as early as I wanted but I’m here typing, thinking about taking on other clients and if I do that how my own writing will suffer.  But enough of that now, the story for the day outlined and submitted, to ME, and I approve wholeheartedly.  Coffee already accompanying my movements and the wine ideas still very much building and fermenting and catapulting themselves at my thinking down here in this Autumn Walk hut.  Jackie still asleep, and me pressured by the pressure I put on myself and the timeline with my daughter getting here in the Winter, or late Fall (guess that’d be late Fall, early December).  So the end to these means is me writing much more, teaching less (meaning no more Mendo or Solano), and building my business.  I’m never leaving the classroom, certainly not at SRJC anyway.  Have to get deeper– or rather ‘further’ into wine’s story.  And how?  Go out there and get what the consumer or even local wine-inspired figure wants: the visuals, the story, the moment-to-momentness of wine itself.  I’ll find that today in Napa’s downtown.  And one more thing I have decided…  I am starting my own label, I will be making wine, next year.  If I did this year it would only be a hobby that would stress me out and I wouldn’t be able to monitor the fruit and the fermentation as I should, be there at the crush pad with it as Glenn was when the SB arrived last week, at that “Punch Down” facility right down the road from here, actually.

I have it decreed in my Comp Book, and now here, for this semester and forever, that my goal is

cup 2
cup 2

to make my own wine; a humbly organized label, maybe 3,000 css, 5k maximum, and only over a couple types.  I don’t want to make as many different wines as some do.. or maybe I do, that way they all, ideally, sell out.

And this would be a secondary business.  Not a hobby but like what Glenn’s winery is to his larger more mammoth vineyard business.  And my site wouldn’t be a wine “education” site, just a general sharing and through that sharing people would become privy, or “educated” if you will, on wine and what happens behind the scenes and in the trenches as I used to do for that factory winery in Kenwood– entertaining and engaging, all pieces short and to the point, truly using brevity as our boon.

Definitely going to Napa today to acquire material, images, maybe a couple new wines.  but if I can’t taste why would I buy them?  Going to have price and ‘value’ be my aims.  And only a couple bottles.  Have to watch all spending…  Just checked accounts, made CC payment, and I’m equalized, “golden”, more than stable.  In fact, financially I’m doing quite well, with the college checks to roll in at next Month’s beginning.  Need to launch my site sooner than soon.  And I’m thinking have it be a WordPress site and not a Weebly-based one.  Again, to think about, but I’m quite settled on WordPress as it’s a blogging site and I’m very much a blogger, not a web designer.  But…..

Jack still not up and my first cup done.  So next, this writing dad… make cup 2, go up and gently wake my little Beat, and go from there.. don’t plan so much.  And, just a Self-note: max clients, 4.  Not a page of paper or word more.  FOUR, no more.