Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Dinner with a Winemaker

Once again, it's the people. Particularly when the person has the passion to make great wine. The passion that makes you get up at 6 in the morning and toil in the vineyards until 9am in your rented two acre plot, and then go to your day-job as a mortgage broker until 6pm, and then go back to the fields until it's dark. The passion that makes you take a "job" in Santiago repping for a Chilean winery to learn the business-end of the wine business and to travel from Santiago to Miami to Cincinnati to Chicago to California (to check on the vines) and then back to Santiago. And then back to the Mid-West to get the Chilean wines into Krogers. But for at least one evening you get a home-cooked meal (three helpings, please) and several wines and a wide ranging conversation about..what else, wine!

The day before you had nervously poured out your first wine, a Syrah from El Dorado County, half-way between Sacramento and Lake Tahoe, that previously you had only served barrel samples to friends and family. Now, it is a wine rep for a distributor and a wine-store owner and some strangers (and some friends) swirling your wine in their glasses. The color is a dark red and the nose a little closed due to the six week bottle age, but the mouth is full and elegant and lasts with a long finish. This is a well-made, beautiful wine. The wine-store owner nods over to the wine rep from the big distributor, "This is really good!" She nods back, "Very good!" The wine is the hit of the tasting and soon it is all gone and everyone wishes there were more bottles of your wine. Jeff, we can't wait for the cases to arrive! A New Wine Arrives in the World.


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