Of Wine And Men


I took the job at a winery to learn the art of viticulture. My dream job doing something I love, getting paid and being able to have something of real value to show for it at the end of the day. I started out working the vines. It's the first step. I was told one of my favorite quotes about wine, “Wine is sunlight, held together by water.” This was said by said Galileo Galilei. A very good glass of wine can engender just such a response within me. The feeling of sunshine. Especially when shared with a friend. Tending the vines is laborious. The real excitement comes at the crush. Also known as just, “Crush time.” The bunches of berries, did you know grapes are berries? The berries are picked when their sugar content is right. What is right? That depends on the style of wine. I have been at the “Fog Valley” winery for two years now. I now have the position as assistant wine maker. I get back after a working vacation at a winery in Germany to find the winemake and the owner of the winery talking in hushed tones. I 

tentatively ask whats going on? I am told that we have been hit with PD. This is devastating. Because of Xylella fastidiosa or Pierce's disease, the vines are a total loss. No cure is known for this. The winery will have to purchase all new vine stock. The winery is for all intent and purpose out of business for the next five years. I suggest buying our juice. The wine maker has already brought it up. The owner says he is to old. He just wants to sell. I have a plan. The wine maker and I will buy the winery.