69: Inoculated, Our Wine Articulated
Drove straight to the lab from Napa. Faster than usual. Walked into the lab, saw Katie finishing up her projects, only to instruct me in the next step in ours. She put a container of warm water on the counter, into which I slowly poured the yeast while she stirred. Waited. Then, a little juice from the barrels. Wait... We went down to the facility floor where I was tasked with pouring half the nutrients upon which the yeast would feast, half into each barrel. Then, the yeast mixed with some Cab juice. A little water, added. Some stirring. Now, waiting. Next, punchdowns. Katie and I are going to rotate, as I work in Napa, and they MUST be done daily.
All day today, while cubed, all I could think about was our wine, making wine, future winemaking projects of ours. Tonight, not sipping Cab, taste research as I probably should. At left, a Red Rocket Ale, actually, from Bear Republic. Relaxing, enjoying some daydreaming as I flip through the pages of the sources I bought yesterday at the book store. Aside from varying varietals, I’m set on implementing myriads of paths to all frames of my wines’ production process. Different yeasts, barrels, and all other steps my professor’s to instruct. With my winemaking, I’m looking to develop a consistent voice, character. Like Katie, Kaz, others I’ve met. I’ll be a winemaker as I’m a writer. Tenacious, triumphantly tangential.
Suddenly, a tickle for Cabernet erupts in my mental motions. But, I’ll save such for Wednesday night. Opening a different Cab, an ’07, sure to have a more intensely protracted profile. My sister complemented my choice of yeast, the BDX, as it contributes to enhanced mouthfeel and adjusted tannin. She called it “the fancy yeast.” Wonder what the others strains would have done to our Russian River Cabernet. Will be back at the plant on Wednesday night, after NWG, for my first punchdown. Saw my sister punch a couple Sangiovese barrels tonight. But, as with everything on Saturday, she made it look more than easy. Habit, reflex, second nature, effortless. Clocking out tonight, wondering what our wine’s doing, right now, under those barrel lids. And, most notably, thankful to my gracious, unmatchable professor.
68: Sipping to Blended Thoughts
And, no surprise, all I could think about today, cubed, was our wine, it resting, developing in its barrels, like twins in womb. Tomorrow night, after my first punchdown our the 11MKCS, a Cab tasting here in the castle. 2007, as I said. Don’t want my deconstructive appreciation to be expected. Just going to write as I nose, taste, finish. At right, 7UP. Another craving for sweetened citrus. Makes me think of vacation, a beach walk, returning to my hotel Room, providing an unfamiliarly mesmerizing panorama of the waves, sands, street, passers. I write for nearly an hour, have my Literary Lunch at a small table just past the foot of my bed, just before a wide opening to the deck. Cram 1000 words into 53 minutes, then take a nap for just short of 90 minutes. Have to be at a signing promptly at 5:45p, then at an author Q&A at 7p. Why was it booked so late? Doesn’t matter. There’ll be wine there, I’m sure. Free wine, excellent bites.
Mike pulled himself from his fantasy, sipped his 7. Maybe he did need some Cab, currently. The day defeated him, definitely. Tomorrow, a Literary Lunch necessary. He needed to amalgamate pages to publish before real life ate the rest of his Self-publishing stash. It wouldn’t be this way forever, he thought. His favorite artists, their characters, their characters’ characters, found a way through and out of their boxes. As would he. The more he thought about it, writing was winemaking. Harvesting the ideas, blending them, adjusting, letting them sit, slide into Self sense, edit. Then, finally, release, exposure to Literary palates. He, as he’d always known, but now especially after the two winemaking meetings with his sister, needed to finish his blended book, even thought K and him were producing most likely a 100% single vineyard Cab. He wanted his book to be the messiest, most peculiar, nonlinear, blend that had ever invaded a store’s shelf. And he would. Looking at all he’d written in the past couple months, he knew he probably already had.