from a journal
Sometimes people from past pages just hop into your sight and thinking. For me it most often happens in the morning. Today while driving to this coffee spot on Stony Point as I so many times do, especially lately, I thought of this guy Dave. I met him while helping Arista Winery as I did in 2015 and just a couple steps into ’16. He has a house out here with his wife, a vacation home I believe being retired from insurance for over 30 years or something like that. From Minnesota, if I remember right. Either way, Dave, or “Big Daddy Dave” as someone I worked with called him and it just stuck, loved Pinot Noir, loved wine, wine country, and even had a little blog he kept of his time out here. Not the fanciest or most impressively scribed pieces I’d ever read on wine and they didn’t have to be. I’m glad they weren’t. They were heartfelt, honest. They were true, true to him, what he believed wine to be and how he wanted wine in his life. One entry describing how he pulled up to the open gate on his first day, greeted by one of the girls waving and smiling, and he was convinced it was meant to be. That’s what made his writing impressive, and engaging, and why I’m thinking about him now, this morning, reconsidering and rebuilding my wine writing identity. What wine is supposed to be is what we want from it, how we want wine believed and communicated, singing to us.
Last night I actually didn’t go to Oliver’s and get some bottle, deciding to save money. Opened on of the St. Fran’ Chardonnays in the fridge left over from my party. While sipping it from one of the birthday cups, transparent plastic, I started thinking of my wine life. Starting in the tasting room at the Frannie, what we call St. Francis if you forgot or if I forgot to tell you, and even before that with the ride up the Cupertino cliffs to Ridge’s Montebello property. Wine is telling me something now, this morning, having one or at least one image of every winery I’ve visited and worked at shuffle through my sight like a curious herd.
That’s what wine embodies, narrates and propels to me. Time and the characters that have been on stage and the ones that approach. Yesterday at lunch at a pizza place on 19th in the city with one of the sales leads, talking about his girlfriend and her first winery gig. In a new tasting room that opened up in Santa Rosa, off Cleveland. He advised her to make it her own, to go say hi to people in nearby tasting rooms and businesses, an approach I have used and seen others deploy over and over each one of my wine years. No comments on the counsel or anything in that approach, I just think of being at a winery and how not just making it your own as so many include myself encourage but having a genuine, heartfelt relationship with certain wines is how you “do it”. Do what. Sell, yes, but speak, interact, be one of wine. Dave’s relationship with wine is what brought him out here, to Arista, to the driveway, what made wine part of his retirement sight and design. So this morning I map my wined Road…. Where I’m going, what I want, what I’ll do in writing what I taste, no matter how many times I’ve tasted it. The steps are steady, curiosity and love for this entity kept whole, assembled, expanding.