photo credit creative commons license david_jones
I am having a hard time finding something to write about that will top my past two posts about straw wine and underwater wine cellars, especially the latter, which is still actively blowing me away as it doesn’t get much wilder than that. I needed something grounding to gather my pieces from where ever it is they landed after being blown away, and the only thing I could think of was reading about wine makers, where they came from and where they are going to, and of course, about my always favorite non-wine wine, port.
Stéphane Vivier from Napa valley is originally from Burgundy, France, but unlike most European winemakers, was not born into a wine making family and his story is comprised both of tradition, since he grew up in a wine making area and spent a lot of time as a child playing with the children of the neighboring winemakers, thus absorbing a lot of the tradition, on the other hand, being a clean slate left a lot of room for him to carve his own way and start his own tradition, which he seems to be doing with gusto.
(If he ever decided to write an autobiography, it would probably be a very good read)
Another interesting winemaker I read about this week is Maggie Harrison, wine maker for Antica Terra from Oregon. Her journey to wine making utterly different from Stephane Vivier’s, and the conditions in which her vines are growing are both challenging and interesting, resulting in wine that is too.
It’s interesting to see how progress affects wine making techniques and as a result the taste too. Sometimes its for better and sometimes it certainly is not. Technological Change Afoot in Oporto: Port producers try treading machines that mimic the human foot . Watching the short video, It is hard for me to imagine this cold, hard stainless steel machine mimicking the human foot, it might have worked better for me if it was dressed in red plaid and blue shorts dancing in the grapes to the sound of drums and accordions. With all due respect to modern methods, nothing (and I repeat), nothing can mimic that.