Hello, and welcome, my friend.
This blog is a place for me to relay my thoughts and ideas on various wine-related topics, and to pass on the wine knowledge that has accumulated over the years that I have worked with, sold, and studied wine. I have been fascinated by the noble juice through most of my life, and often find myself pondering how incredible is the symbiotic relationship of humans and wine vines that has existed for almost 8000 years. The 'wine bearing' grapevine species, vitis vinifera has been cultivated for that long. It has paralleled the expansion of humankind and traveled everywhere that we have settled. It is mind-blowing, to me, that the discovery of how to preserve the product of the reproductive system of a fruiting vine has lead to the varied and rich cultures of wine world-wide. The vitis vinifera vine produces grapes, of course, which have a seed for passing on the combined genetic codes of the two parent plants. This is the reason why there are many varieties of vinifera grapes. However, the only way to maintain the desired characteristics of a favored vine, is through cuttings, which lead to clones. Vines are particularly good at re-rooting from cuttings, and humans have been exploiting this trait since its discovery those thousands of years ago, in the area of Eurasia near the black sea. This is also of course where our ancestors began the agricultural revolution which transformed human society from one of traditional hunter-gatherers to a settling culture of crop farming and animal husbandry. This in turn lead to civilization as we know it, and somewhere in this transition, someone discovered that the berry of the vinifera vines, although not great to eat, could be preserved through fermentation and consumed, not just in the weeks and months of its ripening, but all the year through. Somebody else discovered that by taking a cutting, the vines could be transported to another place; planted, and produce the same type of berry with the same traits. I love the thought that from those discoveries, approximately 8000 years ago, the vines have been cut, planted, and passed on to the next generation hundreds of times in that area, and spread throughout the world by the same method countless thousands of times. Each generation of human learning from the last. Each generation of grape vine adapting to its environment and the most desired being chosen to become the next vine cultivated and passed on. This fascination is at the heart of what this blog is all about.