If you know me, you know that I do things a little bit differently. I think it is about time to reflect a bit on why I do. It's about perfection. It's about my personality. It's about pride, integrity, passion and respect. So listen...
Wine isn't made overnight
Even if you want it to be. Wine is a slow process of evolution. I like to compare it to coral reef - it is alive, it grows REALLY SLOWLY but the conditions are relevant. If humans touch it, the coral literally dies. Wine is like that. It is ever-evolving, growing on a micro-level and ultra sensitive. Wine has a lifespan. It doesn't last forever but hey, it doesn't mean that when it's a toddler you put it out on the streets and say - good luck! No, a toddler needs help and so does wine... after it ferments, it goes through a secondary fermentation. Think puberty. Ok, maybe it's beautiful but is it mature?? Nope. It still needs more time and depending on the grape (or your child's personality), it may need more time. So far I haven't had a wine that wanted to leave home before it was ready ;)
Wine has needs
It needs quiet.
It needs darkness.
It needs to be still.
It needs love and care.
It needs to be drank.
This isn't meant to be a poem... as much as I like to write about wine.
Wine isn't beer... but if it were
Mine would be a big, rich, velvety, stout - not Acme Lite. The other day I was talking to a fellow vintner about fermentation. He prefers to rush the process (high temp ferment, press and bottle) and get it on the market so he can sell it as fast as possible. He felt aging doesn't make a big difference (I beg to differ), nor does a cool fermentation (which keeps aromas and flavor compounds intact rather than evaporating). I told him how my low-temp fermentation and long-time aging was necessary for me to produce a QUALITY wine. Not just quality but something that is treasured by my fans: a true world-class wine, made with love. In the end, it is a business; I understood my fellow vintners idea when it comes to that. It's economics... but (in my opinion) wine is an art, and most of us get into making it because we want to feel proud of what we craft - not because we wanted a product like Acme Lite. Slowly, I have seen opportunists enter this realm, overly-romanticizing the lifestyle of a winemaker and thinking it is a sure-fire way to make a quick million. I promise, it is romantic, but it will not make you a million. Overall, it's all about personal preferences so if you like those Acme brand wines or can't tell the difference, keep on drinking it - for me, I'll take my sincerely, hand-crafted beauties and enjoy them for the coveted wines they are.
What about you?