SF MOMA: How Wine Became Modern …

Depending on your current knowledge of exhibitions in the San Francisco museum community, you may or may not know that there is a rather fine and wine-centric show currently on at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art entitled “How Wine Became Modern.”

Here is the exhibit in SFMOMA’s words:

How Wine Became Modern explores the visual culture of wine and its stunning transformation over the last three decades. Designed in collaboration with renowned architects Diller Scofidio + Renfro, the exhibition combines historical artifacts, architectural models, design objects, newly commissioned artworks, and enticing installations, including a “smell wall,” to probe many aspects of wine culture, among them: the globalization of wine; concepts of terroir; wine in popular media; new strategies in label, glassware, and winery design; and wine tourism.

One of our wonderful Regional Sales Managers, Dan Buckler, recently attended the exhibit, and sent us the following quote from our very own Paul Draper; a quote Dan discovered encased in glass as part of a winemaking practices display:

“In California for at least the last ten or fifteen years we have heard that the wines are now made in the vineyards. What is not mentioned is that in most cases they are then remade in the winery” — Paul Draper

If the implication and inference is not quite clear as regards where Ridge stands, here is Paul on our Monte Bello Vineyard:

Monte Bello is first and foremost a wine of place. That place – high atop the Santa Cruz Mountains underlain by decomposing limestone and Franciscan rock – produces a wine unlike any other. It is our belief that this vineyard with its very low yielding vines (less than two tons per acre) is capable of creating a wine of great significance, depth, complexity and aging potential – but only if we take care in sustaining it. Our vineyard practices, therefore, do not intervene; rather they use and preserve the existing eco-system through techniques such as sowing cover crops and utilizing integrated pest management to nurture and protect the vines. We do not add anything to the vineyard that is not natural.

All of which calls to mind a comment that recently came through to our blog in response to our Year In (Visual) Review post, an excerpt of which reads as follows:

please may we belatedly insert the gleaming thread that was the visual artist Louise Bourgeois? she passed away at age 98 in May of last year, though her work and ideas remain with us. she was outspoken and intelligent, and i like to view much of what she said through the lens of artists in general (be it painters, writers, or yes, a certain class of winemakers):

“art is manipulation without intervention”
“i am not what i am, i am what i do with my hands”
“art is a guarantee of sanity” (i believe this last pertains not only to the making of art, but also to the partaking of it!)

Art is manipulation without intervention.

I don’t know as I’ve heard a better mantra; for wine, for art, for life. Safe travels to you, Louise Bourgeois, and bless you for your wisdom.

And thank you to you “Stella” for calling our attention both to this great artist’s passing, and to the parallel visions at work.

And to you Dan Buckler, for alerting us to Paul’s great quote.

And thank you to you Paul Draper, and all at Ridge, for pursuing the ethical path, the artist’s path, the only path.

To quote Abraham Lincoln (from a poster that hangs on an office wall here at Monte Bello)

on the subject of Ethics:

Be sure you put your feet in the right place, then stand firm.

No coincidence, methinks, that Lincoln should ground ethics in place.


…Monte Bello is first and foremost a wine of place …

Categories: Events, History, Monte Bello, Paul Draper, Vineyards, Viticultural Salmagundi, Wine Tales, Winemaking

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