Sunday, August 10, 2014

Vineyard Light: What a Slovenian winemaker taught writer Eric Asimov about life.

As part of my Vineyard Light Project, at a Napa Wine Writer's Symposium I asked New York Times wine and food writer Eric Asimov what the vineyard taught him about life.

"I think of Alesh Kristantochiev, a wonderful producer in Slovenia, just across the border from Italy. I’ve walked in his vineyard with him. It’s almost as if he knows each one of his vines, as if they all had their own individual personalities. Then he tailors his care for them to their individual needs. 

"I was very amazed by how much effort goes into being out there to observe and know those plants, and how that contributes to making great wine. It's a product of love and passion.

"In a very broad sense we can all learn lessons – life lessons – from that. Whatever you do in life, do it with love, do it with passion, do it with effort, do it with commitment."

Eric Asimov, Wine and Food Writer, New York Times, New York, New York.

On the other side of the world from Solvenia, winemaker Emma Gao (in yellow top) of Silver Heights, checks Cabernet Sauvignon grapes in one of her contract vineyards with a worker. Like Asimov's Alesh Kristantochiev, Emma is full of passion for both life and for growing the best grapes and wine. The vineyard is near Yinchuan, Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, China

During harvest, Emma Gao of Silver Heights often put her face into the crated grapes just to smell them. Then, if the grapes were good, she would straighten up with a big grin.  Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, China.

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