Sunday, June 26, 2011

All is Promise, Now

I was out walking around Ghielmetti Vineyard today, and it was just about perfect...75 degrees, just a gentle houghing of a breeze coming from the Bay, the new, green canes knocking innocently against the trellis wires. The sun felt nice on my shoulders; the hares - like lampposts - signaled my way before bounding off between the rows, and the vultures wheeled above me. It all felt new, just like it does every year at this time.

Bloom is over, and the incipient bunches sport little BBs of green. Anthropomorphically, these little balls are our future. Whatever is to come from this year's harvest, whatever memorable vintage, whatever potential greatness will come from these grapes-in-waiting.

All is promise now. And it is good.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Madness. But in a Good Way.

Now that the weather has begun to warm up (and dry out!), I can truly start to think that there may be an actual harvest in the Livermore Valley this year. It's a crazy business...full of trepidation, full of hope, by turns fatalistic then wildly optimistic...and that's just the emotional topsy/turvy of one weather report, of one day barrel surfing.

While this madness is part of every blend I make, it is especially virulent with our best wine...Lineage. I've done it to myself, no one else to blame. I've wanted to - and believed we could compete on quality with any Bordeaux blend producer in the world - and when you go about saying this kind of stuff, you got to be able to back it up. There go the nerves again. 

I'd be lying if I said I didn't like this perverted cha-cha. Though so much rides on each decision I make in the vineyard (each percent of THIS added and THAT taken away, mock blend #1 versus mock blend #20), I tend to look at the hairline fissures of insanity that result as badges of honor. If you're going to spend as much time doing something, you might as well make an impact. As Bruce would say "walk tall, or - baby - don't walk at all."

So each day that goes by is another chance for the world to end. It is also another opportunity for the truth and beauty of this wine to shine through. I'll take my chances.