Saturday, December 19, 2009

Ultimate Cage fighter lawyers have my book

This coming Tuesday, parties involved with the bankruptcy of Graphic Arts, the publisher of my Oregon Wine book, will be in court to duke out who owns what assets, including the book rights to my book. I'm picturing an Ultimate Fighting Cage with lawyers in suits punching and clawing each other. This is just round one. I hope the judge lets me take photos.

I own the copyright to the words and photos, but not the book. There are no more books in the warehouse and we can't reprint until the judge determines who owns what assets.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

For China the future is still ahead.

Harvest, Rongchen winery, Hebei Province, China.

Working as a team, these two women picked about 10 crates of Chardonnay grapes each during 4 hours of harvest that day. While they were some of the slowest pickers in the vineyard that day, I calculated that if they worked all day, everyday of the year, it would take them almost 10 years to earn enough money to buy the camera and lens I used to photograph them.

It made reflect. My financial future is already here. For these two women, and most Chinese, their financial future is still ahead.

Monday, December 14, 2009

What matters now?

Tonight I just came across Seth Godin's blog entry where he asked dozens of interesting people, "What matters now?" He then compiled the answers and published them in an e-book.

The e-book answers made me reflect about the importance of powerful questions as I'm crafting my next book, Lessons from the Vineyard-Insights on our Earth, Character and Spirit. The seed sprouted with the last question I asked 87 Oregon winemakers, owners and vineyard workers for my last book: "What have you learned from the vineyard?"

Inspired by how Jesus used parables about the vineyard for his lessons, I thought the vineyard could be a metaphor
for my new Lessons book. After all, isn't the vineyard an interaction between man, nature and God?

So then what does the vineyard teach us?

Thursday, December 3, 2009

China Wine: From Cow to Castle

Do you have the same a visual disconnect I have between the photos of farmers plowing in the vineyard with a cow and the huge castle-like chateaus the wineries build?
These farmers are working in a vineyard which provides fruit to Dynasty Winery near Tianjin.

Then check out the new Chateau Dynasty is building (below right). The panorama is Chateau Junding in Shandong Province. I didn't see any cows pulling equipment here.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

China Wine-Striving for Big

What is it in the Chinese Wine psychology that attracts BIG?

This is Dynasty Winery's new facility near Tianjin, just next door to their current winery, tasting room and offices. (By the way, what architectural influences do you see here?)

Here are the figures and facts for Dynasty: Established in 1980, as a Sino-French Joint-Venture, the second ever Chinese-foreign joint venture in China, created between the Chinese government, the French brandy producer, Remy-Martin, and Hong Kong International Trade and Technology Investigation Organization–whatever that is.

So get these production numbers. In 1980–first year for Dynasty–they produced 100,000 bottles of wine. First year. Remember that many, if not most Oregon wine producers in my backyard, output maybe 60,000 bottles, after years of being in business. By 2002, Dynasty's total production of wines and brandies reached 35 million bottles. That's more than two times what the entire state of Oregon produces.

And that's only one winery in China. Big or what?