When I received an invitation to join Kate Graham on a writing journey (40 Days of Writing) I sharpened my number 2′s and accepted, citing that I would lead the people 40 days and 40 nights into the desert(s) of my mind. So, first, who is Kate Graham?
I had the privelege of meeting Kate one morning, bottling with the inimitable Hardy Wallace of all sorts of wine fame. I made a little video that day to prove I was there!
Hardy and Kate are an item and it was during harvest this year that Hardy proposed to Kate. I was around to celebrate with local Napa brews, their fabulous engagement! Kate is a brilliant lass who I have only had the pleasure of “hanging” with for about 10 hours. She has a magnetic personality and we were easy friends. She was a marketer, I learned, with Wholefoods, and that’s a wholly interesting story – I want to say she is an Oxford Grad too, but I am likely confusing her with yours truly. I tell everyone I went to Oxford. And now I’m telling you. Don’t believe me? I went to Christ’s Church and whenever anyone passed me on campus they’d shout: “Hosanna Heysanna Sanna Sanna Ho
Sanna Hey Sanna Ho Sanna!”
Well. Ahem. Let us to the 40 Days of Writing project.
This is officially Day 6 of the 40 day project and the first public announcement of my participation. Days 1 through 5 reside within a moleskin notebook as necessary exercises in dramatic theatricality and preparation for editing a play I hope to present in the coming year, called “Farm!”
For the remaining days of this project, I turn to Hemingway’s own self-encouragement to write “The truest sentence you know.” So, here on Winetology, everyday for the next 35 days I will write a short and declaratively fun paragraph about the truest things I can write about wine.
I was walking through vineyards with Ned Hill in Carneros in June of 2011. Tiny clusters of grapes dotted the grapevines – small berries perfectly green in colour – we occasionally picked one off and tasted as we walked. The grapes were bitter, acridly so. These were just the beginnings of grapes. I didn’t think at the time they should be called grapes, but then a grape by any other name is still a grape. Ned and I talked about the ripening process and then Ned let me wander around some Cabernet vines while he drove off to an out-of-sight part of the vineyard to see what pruning would need to be done. I took the opportunity to play winemaker and every ten yards or so, bent down to taste the earth. I tasted red and white dirt and was excited to find subtle complexities and differences from place to place.