Dracaena Wines

#MWWC

Core Values in Life and Wine

As a newbie in the world of blogging, I have found myself immersed in the social aspect of blogging.  To be honest, I wasn’t even that familiar with what a blog was.  I had to look up “blog” to even partially understand it.  But as a new winery, and being the person charged with media (heck, my husband and I are the winery.  He makes the wine, I advertise it.  He has the easier job) I felt I had to jump in with both feet, step outside my comfort zone, and get into this world.  
One of the things I learned in life is that if you want to do something, you need to admit you need help and be wise enough to find people who know what their doing, and follow in their footsteps.  So I started reading other people’s blogs, and that is how I came across this wonderful contest.  Thanks to http://thedrunkencyclist.com/  (@masi3v) I found out about this challenge. (# MWWC10)When I read the topic was “Values” I thought, I can do this.  In my “non-wine job”, I am a adventure teacher.  Technically, I am a Physical Education teacher, but my specialty is Adventure Training.  Yep, I teach kids how to rock climb, belay, swing from poles, jump off tall objects to free-falls and zip-line.  Life isn’t so bad. This all ties into teaching the students values.  In order to get to the point of trusting someone to be responsible for your safety, we go through a series of activities that teach the values of being a good citizen. The Pillars of Character.  The concept in my class is that if each student follows these pillars, they make the class a  

better place.  That can then extend to making the school a better place and then the town, and so on. Definitely a overzealous hypothesis, but it does make them think.
I’m guessing that when “Values” was decided upon, this was not what came to mind.  Value for dollar probably comes to the forefront of thinking, but as I teach my kids, “A straight line is the fastest way to get from Point A to Point B, but it is usually a lot more fun to take a lot of turns.”  “Don’t be afraid to think outside the box”. So, I am practicing what I preach and plan on demonstrating how these values come into play with wine.
Care and respect are dominant factors in the creation of an exceptional wine.  As a vintner, you must respect nature.  It is a powerful entity. The old adage of “You can’t fight Mother Nature” speaks volumes to winemakers. Nature plays a primary role in how the grapes grow and the characteristics they offer. If you ignore this aspect, it’s nearly impossible to have a harmonious wine. If the winemaker cares for the environment and respects the essence of the grapes, that’s what correlates to a good wine. Price is not the determining factor of a good wine, respecting nature and putting your heart and soul into nurturing your fruit is the definitive answer to great wine.  When it comes to wine, one size does not fit all.  You can not have a single method to producing wine.  Every year can create a different complication. Every year the vintner needs to find a way to hurdle that obstacle. Trusting in yourself to know what is the right thing to do for your wine and being responsible in your decision making about how to bring the best out of the personality of the grapes creates a great wine. The grapes themselves determine when you pick them.  They mature at their own rate and they are stubborn.  If you care about the quality, there is no coercing them into being ready to be picked earlier than they want to be.  The ground in which the grapes grow envelopes the grapes with an innate characteristic.  The soil, the climate, how the grapes are planted all play a role in creating the final product. As Robert Parker Jr. himself said, “The winemaker’s responsibility is to take that fruit and get it to bottle as the most natural and purest expression of that vineyard, of the grape varietal or blend, and of the vintage.” 
I am lucky enough to have my two worlds collide in a positive way. I get to teach the core values of life to my students and have the opportunity to act on those values to create a wine that our customers will enjoy. Life doesn’t get much better.