When the Vintage is Over




When the Vintage is Over

Today -under enormous adversity it must be said- we picked the last grapes of the 2024 vintage, in Shan State Myanmar.

A miserly crop, but the fruit is mostly good, some of it exceptional, enough to get the heart pounding with excitement, and bring a tear to the corner of my eyes as I look at my team, going about their work, feeding their families, caring for their loved ones, worrying about the future and doing their best. I have come to care about them very deeply.
Under extraordinarily trying conditions, unimaginable situations, and frightening circumstances, they have captured something special here this year, and we are going to love these wines and nurture them. When they are ready, we will give them back to this world as our gift, as a sign of hope, care, and love.
Friedrich Nietzsche, one of my favourite philosophers said:
“For believe me! — the secret for harvesting from existence the greatest fruitfulness and the greatest enjoyment is: to live dangerously! Build your cities on the slopes of Vesuvius! Send your ships into uncharted seas! Live at war with your peers and yourselves! Be robbers and conquerors as long as you cannot be rulers and possessors, you seekers of knowledge! Soon the age will be past when you could be content to live hidden in forests like shy deer! At long last the search for knowledge will reach out for its due: — it will want to rule and possess, and you with it!”
The personal challenges, decisions, and concerns about making wine here are confrontational and sometimes distressing, I sense -for me- life-changing. I think of Karl Jung, “No tree, it is said, can grow to heaven unless it sends its roots down into hell.”
Nietzsche again, “There are no beautiful surfaces without a terrible depth.”
However, it is perhaps Lao Tzu who said it best,
“The flower which blooms in adversity is the rarest and most beautiful of all.”

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