Getting started…

I figure that March 1st is the best date for me to start writing a blog.  The 2009 harvest work is winding down and people are beginning to turn their attention to 2010 harvest.  I recently read a blog posted by Steve Heimhoff (http://www.steveheimoff.com/index.php/2010/03/11/what-i-tell-winemakers/)stating that winemakers needed to blog more about what they do on a daily basis.  I agree, however I think most people would be bored to tears if they had to read what we do on a daily basis.  Today I attended two management meetings, worked on a report, ate lunch while researching the Leyda Valley in Chile for an upcoming winemaking dinner, and wrote 3 outlines for my MW exam.  My case in point, it wasn’t a very exciting day in the life of a winemaker.

March 1st also has significance as being the three month point from the first day of the above mentioned MW exam widely known to be an extremely intense and demanding course of studies.  I think it would have been interesting to have blogged about my experiences leading up to these next three months however I did not have the forethought (or the time for that matter) to do so.  At this point in the program I find myself being elated one moment at the point of reaching some new revelation and scared out of my mind the next, one small step away from breathing slowly into a paper bag.  I’m not sure if that’s common at this point but it helps to think it might be.  In three months I will undertake the culmination of the last 5 years of study (including the two WSET certifications and the MW program thus far).  I’m excited, relieved, and nervous all at the same time. At this point my life has become consumed by the desire to finish this program.  I’ve put everything else in life on hold.  It has become a common thought of mine during the past year to say “I’ll do that after the MW” or “It will have to wait until after the MW”.  Fortunately I have a very supportive husband, family, friends, and company without which I would not have come this far already.

But I digress…

The initial thought for this particular blog however is my ever increasing frustration with wine scores. I appreciate their simplicity and ease of understandability by the general wine consumer however as a winemaker it continuously bothers me that the endless worry during the growing season, the extreme care during harvest, and the long aging process to create our best possible wine can be whittled down so quickly to two numerical digits.  Don’t get me wrong, I get as excited as the next person when a wine that I’ve been involved with gets a high score however it does leave me feeling a bit shallow at the end of the day. This is nothing against the wine critics that use scores because goodness knows they taste enough wine to need such a system, but it seems so simple a method that perhaps it is too simplistic to really encompass all that is good in a wine.  I also, not being a mathematically inclined person, don’t prefer to think in numbers but in styles or personalities of different wines.  So…the idea for my website came about.

There are several things I’d like you (who ever you may be) to keep in mind.
1)    I am a winemaker, not a wine reviewer, even though I will post my tasting notes and my personal opinion about a wine on the site.
2)    I am not endorsing or disapproving of any wine in general.  I am merely posting my opinion.  Yours is welcome to differ.  After all that is what wine is about, right?  If we all liked the same wines there wouldn’t be so many to taste in the first place.
3)    You (being whoever is reading my ramblings and notes) are more than welcome to comment be it agreement or disagreement.  All I ask is that everyone remain civil and look at things from every point of view.
4)    I will try and respond to as many comments as I can and answer questions to the best of my ability.  Keep in mind that I don’t know everything and am not likely to know everything in my lifetime.  I will share what I do know and will try and point you in the right direction when I don’t.

Finally, I want to say thank you.  If you have stayed with me this long there might be a chance that you’ll come back next time I write.  I hope you will.  Until then Happy Frost season from CA!

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