That a grape undergoes a transformative journey en route to its incarnation as a bottle of wine is reasonably self-evident; wine could of course not be possible without said journey taking place.
But in fact, there is more than meets the eye afoot, and more than one journey underway.
The original magic of the vine-to-wine transubstantiation resides in the overlapping concentrics of history. A vineyard is a journey unto itself; soil to seed, plant to fruit; year in and year out, the ever-deepening Samsaric encirculation of life, the poetry of the perennial:
The vineyards crews
don’t dare mention drought.
The rain is going to come this weekend.
Already I have seen
three snowflakes prancing lightly
like young reindeer in the air.
Back from holidays, they start in
on the pruning of the slopes, repeating
mantras to their dogs, laughing in Spanish.
From the gun club by the quarry
comes the shots
that we all hear on a delay.
We amaze ourselves, reminded
that the stars we beg to weep
have died already.
There is nowhere
for the last year to go,
but to the ground.
is growing larger.
Spindling out from this ever-in-rotation inner agrarian hub, like spokes of some great metaphysical wheel, are the revelations of vintage; each season a season of imagination, impossibility, and faith.; new journeys all; from the grape, to the glass.
This is what we taste when we taste honest and authentic wine; the history of the vineyard, the history of the harvest, the histories of the living and the dead, the biology of sweet human endeavor, in forever soulful congress with the earth, with the sky, with the gods.
The Old World. The New World.
(The following film short is a pictorial chronicle of a grape’s journey from vineyard to bottle, featuring Ridge Vineyards Geyserville, set to the music of Antonín Dvořák’s “From The New World” symphony; a work composed back in the era when Geyserville’s “Old Patch” was just being planted.)