David in vineyard with Damiano Ciolli

David Weitzenhoffer listens to Damiano Ciolli talk about his Cesanese vines.

Part of my job consists of planning visits for winemakers whose products I sell.  They come to the US and want to visit their customers.  They want to speak to the sommeliers and wine buyers.  They want to understand the environment in which their wines end up- the food with which it is consumed.

Trust me- when there are winemakers in town, it’s always easier to line up the appointments. The world loves a winemaker.

Roberto diFilippo and Ronnie Grant @OldvinecafeRoberto diFilippo entranced us at Old Vine Cafe.

Recently we hosted Roberto diFilippo during his visit to southern California.  This man is a perfect example: a second-generation winemaker, a real gentleman and a true farmer.  He enjoys talking about terroir because he loves the dirt.  He is in tune with nature.  People love talking with him because he knows about the mysterious, ancient wisdom of the vineyards, the primal rhythms of the weather patterns, the lunar cycles, and the ultimate triumph and decimating despair of the Force that is Nature.  He is fascinating.Luca D'Attoma in the vineyard

Luca d’Attoma discussing soil with his colleagues in the vineyards of Riparbella.

Every winemaker I have ever known is similar in some way- they all have a certain kind of gravitas, an understanding of the natural world that comes from having dirt under their boots and the sun on their backs. We office-dwellers and freeway-riders are understandably fascinated by these farming people.  After spending our days counting bottles in dark cellars and then running plates and bottles of wine across an artificially-lit restaurant floor all night, we are understandably entranced and enamored by this natural life… up with the sun to work, to bed with the stars to rejuvenate for another day’s honest work.

Clean air, quiet, open spaces.  It’s all there in that bottle of wine.  It’s personified by this peaceful, happy man who owns the vineyard.Il Borghetto Tour

Antonio Cavallini guiding us through the enchanted vineyards at Il Borghetto.

The world loves and Winemaker.

The world needs a Winemaker.