I’ll keep this one short, the sun is rising, and we have many miles to cover in these next few days.
Flyover country is a big swath of land and today’s episode of On the Wine Trail in Italy takes us to Marfa, Texas. From Dallas, St. Louis is closer. But Marfa is a piece of Texas that is part Old West, a dash of Soho and a suggestion of The Twilight Zone. Arriving just in time for the Chinati Foundation’s annual celebration, this week artists and intellectuals from all over the world have descended upon sleepy little Marfa to inspire and be inspired, from art, earth and conviviality.
The terroir of Marfa.
It attracts people from New York, London, Paris and it’s kind of like the dishwasher; everything fits in the racks together. Local folks, hippies who hit the edge of town a generation ago and stopped to rest, you never know who you’ll be talking to. The land does influence, as does the light, which is crisp and bright and razor-edge.
There is an oasis of chefs and food lovers, from Marathon to Terlingua to Marfa, and this is my annual check-up to make sure they get all the Italian wine they will need for the winter months.
Because of the high altitude (4800 ft appx) this is a great place for a garden in Texas. Warm days, cool nights, and lots of rays. And critters. My uncle the geologist from Midland told me about the way this region was formed millions of years ago, and there is some serious ‘minerality’ working in the soil. Over by Ft. Davis there are a few vineyards, Cabernet and such.
As with many places in Texas there is a recognizable effect of the terroir on the people who live and come to live in these places. There is a concentration of energy that is brought to the surface slowly, like the thousands of oil wells that populate the territory. Pumping slowly, constantly, until every last drop is captured.
Last night we opened up bottles at a local place, Cochineal, and sat with owners Tom and Toshi to taste through a few things from Italy. Chef Paul and his wife from The Gage Hotel in Marathon joined us. Tom, seeing we had just opened a 2004 Radici from Mastroberardino, went to his wine cellar and brought back a 1995 Taurasi from Salvatore Molettieri. It drank quite well through the night.
I like the mixing of terroir, from a bottle of wine, to a bowl of garden fresh vegetables, to a table of folks from all over the world, sharing wine and food and ideas. Terroir as a global force, uniting. Ok, so I’m getting pensive.
Looking forward to visiting many of our accounts today, especially El Cheapo.