May 20, 2012

Winemaking as biography

I'm sitting in the Jet Blue terminal at JFK airport after an excellent first trip to New York City on the wine schlep. Meaning, I have a distributor selling my wine in Manhattan and I enjoyed the opportunity to work the local market for the first time. More on that soon enough.

While I wait, and undoubtedly for the hours of my long flight back to Portland, I'm reading Walter Isaacson's biography of Steve Jobs, highly recommended to me by my brother-in-law. So far I've only managed to read the introduction, but I was struck by Isaacson's recounting of how and apparently why Jobs chose him to write the book.

Jobs apparently thought Isaacson was good at getting people to talk, to open up. And despite occasional misgivings, Jobs professed he had nothing to hide. He wasn't always proud of what he'd done but said there weren't any skeletons in the closet. Jobs wanted Isaacson to tell the whole story.

That's what I want to do with grapes. I want to get them to talk, to open up, to listen to them. I want to tell their story, not mine. It's not a new thought for a winemaker to resist making his or her own stamp on thing, and of course any winemaker or biographer still has a fundamental impact on the final product. Our names go on it after all. I've just never thought of winemaking as biography until now. I want to think more about that, but I like it for now.

Time to board. More on the NYC trip in a few installments. Trips to wine shops around town, a pouring at Chambers Street Wines, and the most ridiculous dinner at Picholine last night that I won't soon forget. I love New York.

1 comment:

Michael Alberty said...

Good analogy. And there's even ghost writers in winemaking as well! And not enough good editors ;-}