Tag Archives: Chardonnay

Travel: Crush Pad

Documenting little life lessons I learn from busting my ass daily for 12+ hours a day:


Everyday for the next few weeks grapes from the field will roll down a conveyor belt at medium speed. They will be wet with juice, soil, insects, water; they will be big and plump, raisined, sunburned, unripe and molded.


And I will have to grab them. The bad ones, the unripened, the sunburned, the botrytis shriveled, the bird eaten and broken grapes that won’t make good wine. And in those moments, nothing else will matter. Never has it been so clear to me that nothing matters more than what is happening right now. I don’t know if in a few hours the next half ton bin will be leafless and gleaming or botrytis ridden. I don’t know if the grapes that made the cut will make good wine in the future or wine that has so much acidity you could sanitize your dishes with it. I don’t know if Mayweather will lose to the “other guy” tomorrow. I just know that right now, in this moment, my eyes must be glued and my attention on high alert for as long as it takes to get the job done, to see what I want and intend to make happen. And that is all that matters. What is happening right now.

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Champagne Dreams


Nearly a year ago in the back room, I tasted Duval Leroy’s Femme de Champagne vintage 1996.

To describe it as climatic would be an understatement.

All at once I tasted buttery, flaky toast and citrus fruits like fresh lemon and oranges. And I didn’t spit it out like I should have; instead I let the silky juice glide straight down my throat and rest itself in my memory.

I determined I would buy this. A vintage champagne from a Champagne house founded in 1859, that since has only released three other vintage champagnes, including: 2000, 1995 and 1990.

Most champagne that is produced for the market is non-vintage Champagne, which just means the grapes to make the wine come from a variety of vintages/years.

Champagne houses only release vintage champagne only when growing conditions and outcomes are absolutely ideal. And ideal they were.

This wine is going to be 20 years old when I open it for my 30th birthday. And the people who share it with me will be very, very special.

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