Light On Lytton Springs: Block 23!

There are few things in the world more visually stunning than a vineyard in the mercurialy pathos-laden clutches of autumn. Autumn in and of itself seems perennially notable for the broodingly poetic emotions it evokes, from the compellingly beautific and austere brilliances of Basho’s haiku:

Autumn moonlight–
a worm digs silently
into the chestnut.

to the heart-rendingly blunt heartland realism of James Wright:

In the Shreve High football stadium,
I think of Polacks nursing long beers in Tiltonsville,
And gray faces of Negroes in the blast furnace at Benwood,
And the ruptured night watchman of Wheeling Steel,
Dreaming of heroes.

All the proud fathers are ashamed to go home.
Their women cluck like starved pullets,
Dying for love.

Their sons grow suicidally beautiful
At the beginning of October,
And gallop terribly against each other’s bodies.

and on to the near-baroquely emotional fundamentalism of Rilke:
Lord: it is time. The huge summer has gone by.
Now overlap the sundials with your shadows,
and on the meadows let the wind go free.

Command the fruits to swell on tree and vine;
grant them a few more warm transparent days,
urge them on to fulfillment then, and press
the final sweetness into the heavy wine.

Whoever has no house now, will never have one.
Whoever is alone will stay alone,
will sit, read, write long letters through the
and wander the boulevards, up and down,
restlessly, while the dry leaves are blowing.

Autumn moves us. Unquestionably. And to observe autumn twining the tendrils of its melancholically zen-like in-the-present-ness with the fading vigor of vines who’ve made their dramatic contributions to the harvest and are now receding slowly into their long hibernation, is to be moved by the sheer beauty and complexity of life itself in all its compellingly mystic beauty.
Accordingly, my thanks go out to Sandy Johnson, our tasting room manager at Lytton Springs, for sending the following; these shots are of Block 23 at Lytton West, and, well, I should just be quiet now, and let you see for yourself … 



Categories: Events, Lytton Springs, Viticultural Salmagundi, Wine & Poetry, Wine Tales

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1 reply

  1. When the theme of autumn arises, I am always compelled to the English poet, John Keats. He died aged 25 but will always be remembered. His poem ‘To Autumn’ says it all. Why, it even focuses on vines!

    SEASON of mists and mellow fruitfulness!
    Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
    Conspiring with him how to load and bless
    With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eaves run;
    To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees,
    And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
    To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
    With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
    And still more, later flowers for the bees,
    Until they think warm days will never cease,
    For Summer has o’er-brimm’d their clammy cells.

    Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
    Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
    Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
    Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;
    Or on a half-reap’d furrow sound asleep,
    Drowsed with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
    Spares the next swath and all its twinèd flowers;
    And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
    Steady thy laden head across a brook;
    Or by a cider-press, with patient look,
    Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours.

    Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?
    Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,—
    While barrèd clouds bloom the soft-dying day,
    And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;
    Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
    Among the river sallows, borne aloft
    Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
    And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
    Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
    The redbreast whistles from a garden-croft;
    And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.

    But then, this was Engand 200 years ago!

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