Seattle Wine Blog

This blog is dedicated to commentary on all aspects of wine, especially short entries to help you find the best wines without the usual hype and spin. These are my frank, independent opinions, usually based on tasting wine at a public event, off the shelf or at the winery. "All creative acts must arise out of a specific soil and flicker with a spirit of place" -D.H. Lawrence

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Answer II: Why Did The Farmer Go To The Winery?

Answer: The farmer went to the winery to make wine! A visit to a typical winery in France makes this obvious. During a visit to Chateau Prieure Lichine in the 1980s, I was first greeted in the courtyard by hens and roosters running about. There was no obvious Chateau or tasting room, just a group of outbuildings clustered around the courtyard with all kinds of farm equipment scattered about. Talking with winemaker, Frank Roth, confirms this. Frank works for orchidist, Mike Tagaris, one of the biggest exporter of Fuji Apples to Korea. All grapegrowers are farmers, and any winery that has estate grown grapes is by definition a farm, unless it is a factory detached from the vineyards. Even the fanciest Chateau in France, while showing a great facade, behind it all, is a farm. It is unfortunate, that some wineries now resemble a retail boutique in a mall rather than a farm. It is even more unfortunate, that so many wines are homogenized in their flavors. The flavor has been removed from so many foods such as pork and eggs, and more and more so from wine. We should be thankful to the devoted farmers who bring us grapes with character and wines with character. Of course, especially in Washington, there are farmers who only grow grapes, and winemakers who only make wine.


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