Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Boldness has genius, even in Oregon wine

Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.

During a two-day interview for my Oregon the Taste of Wine book, Richard Sommer talked of his dream during the 1950s, to grow wine grapes in a place where others said “impossible.” He recalled UC Davis viticultural professors chuckling when he said he was starting a vineyard in Oregon. Too cold, too rainy, was the consensus. It hadn’t been done before.

But Richard had faith, enough faith to plant Oregon’s first modern-era vinifera grapes, including Pinot noir, in 1961. He actually had wine before the well-known Boys up North in the Willamette planted their first Pinot vines in the ground. And he had enough faith to begin a winery, Hillcrest, which is still in existence today.

Now, some 400 plus Oregon wineries later, we know Richard was right. But what gave Richard the chutzpa to take on the world?

Janis Miglavs, Vineyard Light Journal, Roseburg, Oregon

Monday, January 7, 2013

Denial doesn't work

Found in Gevrey-Chambertin, the largest appellation in Burgundy Cote de Nuits.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Have you buried one life?

Someone once told me that many people live two lives. The day-to-day life, and the unlived life within us, the one most of us bury, usually when we become adults. 
Lately I've been toiling in the day to day life. Sometimes I take a little chance. The take-a-chance life is the one I remember the most.
From my Journal, Hebei Province, China 2011
Warrior, Karo Tribe, Omo Region, Ethiopia.
Janis (on the right) with the chief of a small Himba Tribe near Epupa Falls, Namibia.
Drinking the local palm wine, vintage that morning. Bedik Tribe, Iwol Village, Senegal.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

When did the French kick Christ out of Romanée-Conti?

Many vineyards in Burgundy have crosses like this one at Romanée-Conti vineyard, most many years old.
When looking at my photographs of Romanée-Conti, probably the world's most famous vineyard, two things struck me. First, hords of visitors flocked to the vineyard as if they were on a pilgrimage.
This multi-lingual sign posted on the small stone wall surrounding the famous Romanée-Conti vineyard shows the obvious frustration the owners must have in keeping visitors out. Regardless, I saw common tourists  wandering amongst the vines, even picking a grape or two. Obviously they could not read French or English.
Then, looking down at the vineyard, I noticed that the neighboring village of Vosne-Romanée surrounded the church. Looking further at other villages, they too surrounded churches that were hundreds of years ago.

What are the churches in the center of modern cities?  I"m suspecting that today's churches revolve around money rather than spiritual matters. Are we living in a different era?
I"ve circled in red three churches in Vosne-Romanée and neighboring villages. The famous Romanée-Conti vineyard is in the foreground, circled in blue. A spray including sulphur makes the famous vineyard appear lighter than the surrounding vines. I think that the owners were worried about a rain that never came. That's a big worry when a bottle from a great vintage can cost thousands.  No word if the vineyard managers sought spiritual help or intervention.