Making wine for a living, how romantic does that sound?
Well it is romantic and passionate but it’s also very hard bloody work. I laugh sometimes when people say we are ‘living the dream’ and I guess we kind of are in a way but it doesn’t always feel like a dream. It’s what we do, what has become of our lives, one part of a complicated set of events that fills the 17 odd hours we spend not sleeping every day. There have been a lot of beautiful moments as well as some tears and heart ache since we took on our first vineyard in 2009 but there are few days like dec 6 2012, the day we blended the barrels.
We both woke up, faces a pale shade of green and a strong urge to pull the covers over our heads and wait out the day in hibernation but knowing dreadfully that the barrels had to be blended that day. Just getting up and getting the kids off to school with matching sets of the flue is a feat in it’self but spending the day tasting and blending red oaked wine is like running a marathon backwards.
Tasting wine for fun is really fun but tasting wine for work is equally really hard work. We had 9 barrels of different wines that had to be blended into one perfect wine. 5% of one wine can change the blend drastically so we basically had an infinite amount of possibilities to taste (hense the spitting). Blending a wine is a serious art and can make or brake the last two years of hard labour put in to making the wines in the first place, you have to remember each wine you’ve tasted, you have to taste each aspect of each wine and way different pro’s and con’s against each other some times tasting for hours. Tasting and re-tasting, tasting and re-tasting. I am such a beginner at this, with a lot of effort and concentration I can focus on what I think tastes good and what I think doesn’t work but I could’t tell you for the life of me why or where those tastes were coming from. In awe I watched Christophe mixing a bit more of this a dash of that each time transforming any negatives in to the exact tastes we were looking for. After 5 hours of our noses in glasses, wine swirling around our mouths he had managed to manipulate like a sculptor pulls his form from a block of marble a beautifully elegant wine from the raw simple materials; sun, soil, grapes, yeast, oak and oxygen.
ok so, i’ll take this dream any day.