I was re-reading blog posts and realized that I complain a lot. So very quickly, I want to let you know why I love winemaking. It’s one of the best jobs around and we’re all thankful we can be involved in this awesome craft.
And while I gush about winemaking, you might find a couple reasons why you love wine too.
Why winemaking is the best job ever:
1. All the great parts of agriculture. We work outdoors in beautiful parts of the world. Work schedule changes with the seasons so you don’t have to do just one thing all year round. There’s also a natural sort of pace where things start slow in the winter prune and gradually speed up with bud break in spring and build up to a real momentum at fall harvest where you spend all your energy and then get to rest in the slow winter again.
2. None of the really tough parts of agriculture. We have the option to avoid most industrial processes and machinery. We don’t have to shovel manure around (although some of us choose to). Hygiene is important in the winery so we tend to be relatively clean farmers.
3. The good parts of art. We get to be creative and we’re always learning and we get to express ourselves through our wine. We create something that people appreciate and that makes life better. On occasion, we make a wine so well that it surprises people and brings new meaning to their day.
4. None of the bad parts of art, namely we’re never staring at a blank page unsure what to do next. Each year, nature gives us the substance that we are to interpret and we just have to do a good job with it. While all our decisions are important, Nature’s making the real calls each vintage. And she’s good at it. We’ll get to take credit for her good ideas.
5. Every bottle is different, like theater. Depending on the context (the meal, the company you keep, etc) each wine can be totally different. And the wine itself is aging too so even if you could control for all the variables in your life, the same wine can be different from one tasting to the next. Wine never gets boring. People ask if, at the end of a long day harvesting and sorting grapes, I’m sick of grapes and wine. The answer is no. After exceptionally long days, I need wine twice as badly!
6. Every bottle is a time capsule that can last generations, far from the ephemera of theater. I once tasted a wine from 1861. Really think about that. The American Civil War was beginning. Dickens had just published Great Expectations. And a man made a wine in Bordeaux that would sit quietly for 150 years in a few cellars around France before being opened and tasted by a small group of wine lovers on Palm Sunday 2011. So I think that one day, a great grandkid I’ll never have the chance to meet will taste 2005 O’Vineyards Reserve and he’ll know what I was like. He’ll know that I had tasted that wine too once and we have something in common.
7. People love winemakers. Well, they love our wine. And they put up with us! No, seriously, everybody loves meeting winemakers. We have interesting jobs and we get to travel and eat and drink and generally be merry.