Know Thyself

– July 2017

As we lumber along in life, sometimes we encounter opportunities to reflect upon what motivates us. There can be many types/layers of motivation and taking inventory of them can be useful in becoming more focused upon what comes naturally to us: Because, it is easier to do what comes naturally. Right?

Myself, I like puzzles. Spatial puzzles are the easiest. Rubik’s cube, I didn’t dig so much after staying up most of a night thinking I was so close to solving it (I wasn’t). Some puzzles are easily solved and others are long-term projects that require years to see the consequences of choices made. This is why winemaking suits my personality: I like some things to move slowly so I can ponder them. By contrast, I do some other things to satisfy needs for the immediate and on-the-fly creative moment. Live music and jamming is a perfect example of that. An inappropriate note once in a while is a fleeting thing that has little consequence in either the larger scheme or the momentum of being in that moment. However, winemaking has lasting, long-term consequences to inappropriate notes – you just can’t have them. They stay with the wine for its duration like typographical errors in a musical score that would eternally mar every symphony performance. Winemaking is a puzzle to solve over a long period of time.

Recently, Nature has given us a few interesting twists that have tested certain theories I have developed over some decades of observation of cause and effect. It is quite satisfying to see the choices at harvest: on-the-fly jamming vs. long-term cogitation (the rest of the year) attitude come to very positive outcomes. The 2015 and 2016 Zinfandel futures are the first and prime examples of this. We are now just bottling 2015 Pinot Noirs and my excitement is hard to contain, in all honesty.

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