23 June, 2009

St Helena

In case we forget: it's just wine. It's a farming community. Growers and field managers. Tractors, cultivators, fertilizer. Even when it's wrapped in gold leaf, it's purpose is to awaken awareness, to celebrate the passage of time from one phase to the next, one season to the next. It can be a way of saying goodbye, of finding closure, of showing gratitude. When I first came to the valley it was 1975. I remember my first view of the terraced rows of vines as I drove down from Lake Berryessa. I thought I was back in Tuscany, a place I had hoped I would never leave; a place I had first found love. And here I was, my first time in California, experiencing the best of both worlds. It was still a sleepy place, pre-bottleshock, before the explosion of global awareness of Napa Valley excellence, before the hype. Ah, the good old days...

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