In these last few days of summer my life is inundated with images of the harvest, of the reaping and the frantic grasping capturing of the past year’s sweaty, back-breaking efforts.
Grapes are coming in from the fields, ripe, tightly-skinned and ready to burst. Excited to begin a transformation, some already fermenting in their crates. There is an anxiety, a mad, eye-glazing, frantic energy that pulses through us during these days. When to pick? How to keep the fruit before pressing? Will it rain? Is there too much sun? How fast can we move? All in the name of the wine. An entire year, squeezed into mere days of delirious, sleepless movement.
A beautiful man, Michele Satta, once told me something very insightful about why wine is so important to him, and to the farmer in him.
He said, “If you grow peaches, you tend the trees and you wait and you agonize. Then you harvest… and immediately your work begins to disintegrate before your eyes. Wine is different. Wine is bottled and only begins its new life after the harvest.”
Jeff Fischer’s grapes, waiting patiently at Habit.
To all of my fascinating wine-making friends, thank you for your efforts in the fields and the wineries. You are bottling an entire year of our lives for us.
I hope you can slow down for a minute in the middle of this madness, to appreciate the beauty that surrounds you, and the exquisite alchemy of your work.