Am I a writer or am I a winemaker? Is my time better spent writing a blog post or thinning Syrah? These are the types of burning, legacy-defining, useless questions that plague my thoughts over the grueling days of harvest. I believe it to be an innate method of stress deflection to have internal debates about completely nonsensical topics.
The debate continues:
I will be forever grateful to my friends Barry and Leslie for encouraging me to start a blog chronicling some of my family farm stories. However, none of this would have come to fruition had I not become a winemaker first.
From the earliest days of creative writing in grade four, I had an affinity to tell stories – but hated taking the time required to sit down and type them out. I do not possess the patience to write a book.
I am definitely a better writer after consuming a few drinks. Ironically, being a winemaker requires a laser-like, sober focus to achieve best results.
Easy growing seasons in the vineyard make for boring stories and difficult writing (if not boring wines!). Thankfully, Niagara NEVER has easy growing seasons and 2016 has been a prime example. If you weren’t lucky enough to have have old, deep-rooted vines or access to irrigation equipment, your winemaking skills were put to a serious challenge. Everyone loves a wine with a good back story.
Some of my best wine-related writing will never get seen by the masses. It is confined to my private cellar notes and yearly harvest log, which read like great tragedies. I tend to be a “pessimistic optimist” whose emotions rise and fall with the daily fluctuations in weather. Frustration and vulnerability ooze from the wine-stained pages. Conversely, the winemaker in me strives to never let them see me sweat.
In the end, it becomes obvious that all aspects of my job are dependent on one another for me to achieve success. I take comfort in this thought, feeling fortunate to have such a fluid job description.
Writer. Winemaker. Vineyard Philosopher.
Some of my recent thoughts on the 2016 harvest can be seen in video form here.