So it seems we will be harvesting our grapes around the mid of August! At long last, we will be snipping off ripe, lucious clusters of fruit, our first vintage that has been five years in the making. It has taken that long; from the time we first cleared our little bit of forestland and removed literally tons of debris. Hauling away rocks, adding lime and compost, and raking rocks and more rocks. And grading, adding more lime, and digging out more rocks, and more rocks... rocks that seemed to multipy before our eyes. But in those heavy, hard chunks of this earth are minerals that feed the soil, as well as the roots of our vines, imparting a flavor to our grapes that will be unique to this little place... which brings me to a discussion on that much-talked about word in the world of wine, "terroir".
The word "terroir" is translated from the French expression, "gout de terroir" or "taste of the earth". What creates a wine's taste specific to a piece of land? The main components are the soil, vine/rootstock, and climate. I see the image as a triune of the earth, the air and the life that grows "in between and as a result of" these two elements... that precious grapevine that I nurture, encourage, support. I suppose the grower could be considered a fourth element of terroir. I try to allow our vineyard to express itself with as little intervention as possible, only the addition of elements needed to maintain healthy, productive vines. One could point out that by adding lime and compost, I am not truly allowing for an honest expression of our soil. The way I reconcile this is that if a soil is depleted of nutrients from feeding a forest for centuries, I consider it acceptable to replenish the soil and enrich it to the degree that it can help to create new life. Its main structure remains the same, but its ability to create is enhanced. I correlate it to the education of a young mind. The mind is what it is, but by adding the element of education, the mind is enhanced, enriched and can (not necessarily will) create great things.
And so, just what our terroir will create is still a mystery. It has yet to be defined... yet to be tasted. As I stand at our vineyard's edge and look over this heavenly spot, I believe in my heart, something this beautiful will create something equally beautiful to taste.
These days I am vigilante in my sentry duties, walking various rows of the vineyard daily, inspecting, touching, keeping my focus on maintaining the health of our fruit and its safety....
This Means WAR!!