Thursday, April 8, 2010

As Spring Unfolds, by Cellar Master, Tim Welly

“Wine in moderation, not in excess for that makes men weak. It brightens the smile, lightens the eye, and gives a certain vivacity to ones thoughts and conversations.” -Mark Twain

When spring time rolls around a world of new life emerges. The new year offers fresh opportunities and outcomes. Our late winter discussions and early spring planning has put into motion the creative brainstorms and ideas passed around at meetings. Warming spring afternoons inspire the winery staff to start dreaming up new ideas, and exciting events that the winery will participate in for the upcoming “season.”
Spring time means the vineyard is in full swing as last years plants need to be pruned up, and tied before the buds begin pushing out this upcoming years’ undeveloped fruit. Every vine is cut and tied by experienced vineyard workers with many years of experience. This is the time of year bees start helping the blooming flowers; by passing along their pollen. Watching bees as they cover a flower means that more flowers, and maybe some honey are soon ahead. However, don’t get too close while watching or the bee might sting you!

Being stung by the wine bug, now that’s another story. Like Mark Twain says wine has the ability to excite someone, inspire another and make complete strangers relate their sensations and feelings to each other. Isn’t the idea of wine just that: an expression? An expression of who, what, where, why and how? Many people take for granted the hard work; both that of the plant, and of the winemaker who works towards expressing where that wine comes from.

The French call it terrior, an expression of: this grape, from: this climate created in this style. They are so serious it’s the law, and it is well regulated. The determination and devotion towards expressing the best qualities from that region make the wine, and the region special. But, a current style many wines seem to be taking on is blurring the line between individuality. A wine should express itself, what the weather was like, what the soil was like, and how much rain it got. But once that wine is blended to taste like something else it looses its individuality. So my suggestion and opinion is that people should look away from that discount bin of mass produced wine in search of something particular and unique. Drink local or drink specific. If wine isn’t a regular choice when choosing something to drink, then make the times you do have it special, by drinking something that is special because it is unique.

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