The bus to New York was crowded and cold and the pages of my training manual haphazardly highlighted and clipped were all over my lap. Less than a week as a wine shop sales associate and I already had to skip out of town to see a friend’s theater production, but the need to achieve would not relent. I scoured those pages on the bus, eager to fill the gaping chasm of my lack of wine knowledge from the ground to the glass.
Even at the end of three years of virtual saturation in material and product, wine and the knowledge thereof seems to be like so many other subjects: the more you learn, the more there appears left to learn, more daunting and more worthy the quest becomes. It was the first of many discoveries, the literature major in me unable to resist noticing pockets of metaphor tucked into the vineyard vignettes. Turns out, the story in my glass starts much earlier, deep in the dirt with roots reaching for the pulse of the place they’re growing.
Actually, less is more. When you initially think of an agrarian society, you assume that there will need to be plenty of sunshine, plenty of water, and nutrient-rich soil for whatever crop is growing, right? Because ideally a farmer would want a large, bountiful harvest, creating the provision of food and good income for the year. And I’d bet that’s probably true for a lot of things, but when it comes to viticulture, it’s almost the opposite. Vines that work the hardest in some of the toughest conditions often are the ones to produce the most wine-worthy fruit.