The American Vigneron
How on earth are you ever going to explain in terms of chemistry and physics, so important a biological phenomenon as first love?—albert einstein
Sometimes, I think my hunting for quirky winemakers is merely an extension of my childhood delight for turning over wet rocks in search of thin-skinned salamanders. But for a pig- tailed, red-haired kid, the salamander search was a pastime: For the winemaker, it is a mission.On a damp and cool day in May, perfect East Coast salamander weather, I was actually out West, in Healdsburg, California, and had just pulled a beast of a gnarly celery root from my friend Marcy Mallette’s back yard. We deemed it too ancient to dice up, and so I puttered around, helping my friend in the kitchen while, as usual, guests bearing bottles produced a mini mountain of wines piled up for dinner. I was looking forward to some old Gaglioppo I had carried north from Los Angeles. But little did I know, those bottles I brought were not going to be the surprise of the evening for the guests. After the beet salad came a local wine, Arnot-Roberts.“This is your wine, Clary Ranch Syrah?” I asked Nathan Roberts as I tried to register what this taste of California was in my mouth.
Kevin Hamel was sitting next to me. He pulled it from my hands and poured himself a bit. As I mulled it over, I registered mint, clover, stem, spice, color, and horse.“Pretty neat!” I said and noted that this must have had low alcohol.
Well not quite. But now that you've read all of the teasers, I do hope you find it really a tease enough to buy the book. Thanks for staying with me this long.