Thursday, April 12, 2012

Getting old....

It's time for me to face it. I'm not getting any younger. In fact, I'm getting older. Lucky for me, it's better than the alternative.

There once was a time when I was the young gun out there. Young winemaker, young winery owner. I didn't get a lot of respect for what I was dong back then. And it bugged me. Looking back, I have to admit I don't do things too much differently now than I used to. But I get a bit more respect. Who knows why....

There's the saying that you can't teach an old dog new tricks. Turns out it's wrong when literally interpreted with dogs, but I have always wondered whether it might actually apply to people.

Now, whether you agree with the idea that I am old or not is up for debate. I am 42. Not old by most people's standards, but old by mine by my own eyes. So, why dwell on it? It's the newness of the vineyard this year that brings it to full light.

The vineyard is in a hurry this year, as Mother Nature tends to be, too. A very youthful characteristic, to be hurried. As my body starts to slow ever so slightly, and I fight it at every twitch, the life in the vineyard starts to speed up. The year is starting earlier than ever before, and I've never seen it like this. On top of that, there's the threat of frost. Devastating freezes that would slice the wind out of our sails financially. It would devastate me emotionally and ultimately physically. So far, we've been lucky. We've had innumerable close-calls. Tonight is another one.

 I actually broke out my sprayer and put on a potassium-polysaccharide spray (called "KDL") to help lower the freezing point of the moisture in the small leaves in the Chardonnay and Merlot. Not sure if it'll actually do any good, but it at least made me feel better. Gave me a sense that I could control something in this out-of-control season. Or at least, do the least that I could with what I have.

So, the threat of frost, the worry of freezing, is getting old. Here I am, feeling like an old dog, and nature throws me a new trick. What to do? Stay set in my ways and think that it doesn't bother me? (It does.) Or that I don't have to change? (I do.) You have to keep going. It's what keeps people in the black holes maelstrom of the wine industry. We're always looking forward with no time to look back. We just wish the flesh wasn't quite so weak when the spirit was so willing.

So, if you can't run with the big dogs, stay on the porch. And I'm running.