Sometimes, when you stand on life's high dive long enough, something comes along that pushes you right into the deep end. No matter the perfectly executed swan dive you envisioned. Momentum has you now in an invigorating free-fall toward the deep, clear water below. In mid-air, arms windmilling uncontrollably, you realize that you have stepped off - you have taken the plunge- and in that instant of revelation - a pure, wild joy.
This is how I find myself in the middle of a meadow at 2,000 feet elevation on the Washington side of the Columbia River Gorge. In the coming months and years, I have a lot to learn. I slept last night in a teepee at the bottom of the hillside, and this morning I drove hours to a nursery full of hundreds of varieties of baby vines. It was all I could do to not immediately gather them up and bring them home to plant. (Add patience to the list of things I need to learn.)
There will need to be deer-fencing and trellis wires and questions answered about rootstock, irrigation, frost risk, and an endless list of known factors not to mention the myriad of unknown obstacles that add up to render near paralysis. But like Burgundy's Laurent Ponsot said recently in an interview with Eric Asimov “You have to be a little naïve, otherwise you do nothing, I am scared of this, but it activates my blood.”
This new exploration of place is intended to unfold slowly over many years. Founded in trust where fear is an evident possibility, this land and I are making a pact to grow together. We'll see where it takes us.
Thank you for being part of the journey.
For news about the 2017 Gamay release and an upcoming wine dinner in Portland , please follow this link.