I consider myself a ‘newbie’ in the world of viticulture and winemaking. It feels like months (it’s years) since we threw in the city towel and embraced the farmer’s life. Recently an enthusiastic Albertan–answering the siren’s call of orchards, vineyards, lakes and hot desert sun while planning his future retirement–asked a million questions about how grapes grow, how much wine in one bunch, how long ‘til grapes show up on new vines, why do vines grow straight up, how do you choose barrels, how is Icewine made, and more. (I kinda had the answers– maybe I have learned something!).
And then my favorite question: “ Are there some vineyard owners who don’t know anything at all but just fall in love with it here and jump?” Wow, big blush on that one as the neon arrow in the sky points right at my head. “Hmm, maybe a few…” Truth is there are as many quirky owners as there are wineries and vineyards. There’s the ‘run away from the city, run away from winter, run towards romance, run towards unlimited wine’ kind of owners. Or, there are the families, where mom, dad, cousins, uncles and more all pitch in. Then there’s situations where land has been passed down from generation to generation or where the ink is barely dry on legal papers. The ones that know a lot and the ones that know nothing. There are consortiums of accountants and oilmen, lawyers and businessman who answer the sirens call and ignore the balance sheet blinded by those dazzling damsels singing their song.
I must confess to a little thrill, naw, make that a THRILL when I share that hubby and I live on a vineyard on Anarchist Mountain. I see eyes glaze over with wistful envy and I bask in that moment and never, ever, ever tell them how that very morning I had to scrape chicken stuff off my fave red shoes, or how the rattlesnake was coiled at the front door, or how I now have a chiropractor I’m supporting, or how hubby and I haven’t ever made it to the beach or done wine tours because there is no such thing as a weekend when you have a vineyard. Nope. They drift into their fantasy and those sirens ramp up that tune and pretty soon we’re both hearing the song of sun setting over the idyllic vineyard, glass of chardonnay in hand, living life large.