Wednesday, February 21, 2007

All Things Bright and Beautiful

Stainless steel tank detail

We're taking a brief moment in Napa Valley for a pruning workshop. Rows of Cabernet bask in the morning sun below Howell Mountain. Vineyards, meant to embellish the lives of the fortunate, were raided today by a band of wine writers and bloggers.

Inside the winery, burnished steel tanks and custom wood fermenting vats await the fruit of our labors. Today we will be preparing the vines for their spring surge. In this event, we precede technology, the barrels, the caves, the bottling lines and the custom labels, to do what man has done for centuries. With eyes and hands and a sharp tool, we trim the vines and ready them for their long journey from grape to wine.

Cast-off vines would make my Hasty-Bake barbeque group so very happy. But these clippings will be recycled for quail shelter and shredded into pathway mulch. My bistecca fiorentina dream will have to wait, until I get back home and ask my uncle to send some clippings from his West Texas vines. Texas beef and Texas grapevines, maybe not with Texas wine, this time.

It was a scene that reminded me almost as much of Bordeaux or Tuscany as Napa. It’s been a good day.

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