February 1, 2021, 12:16PM
Who would of thought the case of writers block would strike at this moment. The month of love, February… hearts, champagne, and a bouquet of roses. Granted, my desire to write about two star crossed interns I had hired in the past and who are now getting married was the topic of choice… but alas, here I am down to the wire this time writing about wine and love.
LOVE relates to wine in too many ways. People enjoy wine with their loved ones and then those who are passionate about the actual process of making wine make it their main focus. I have always loved the sense of community and togetherness winemaking has brought me. It always provided a space to dangerously give it your all because that is just what harvest is. It doesn’t stop in the heat of the moment! Nor does love! And since we are talking about harvest…it is important to call out that it is a “crush.” And all crushes are particularly good at timing themselves to stop right at the highlight and leave you wondering what happened in those past months.
When writing a wine article, love could have been maybe focusing on what sparkling wine to gift your significant or best friend (Bodkin Wines Sparkling Sauvignon Blanc)… and talk about your favorite chocolates (Fleur Sauvage Chocolates). Maybe getting very personal and writing how winemaking is how I met my husband and brought so much love in my life! Or that my toddler knows Mommy makes wine but isn’t potty trained yet!
Love is a hard one to talk about when it comes to the livelihoods of those involved in the wine industry. Some vintages feel like a break-up, and then you taste the wine aging in barrel, and you think that things can’t shake out all that bad. The growers go back to nurturing and tending a field and see the cyclical beauty it showcases. But let’s be honest, some break-ups burst into flames and leave you barely standing… yeah we just blend those away with a bigger lot of wine and focus on the next vintage with hope.
I have not been in a full production operation now for three years come this Spring and there is a slight hole in my heart. Production teams are a mix of camaraderie and tough love. The nature of harvest can sometimes break the strongest at heart. I remember my first harvest and still to this day I know some coworkers of mine who have not touched the cellar since because of the mental toll production can be. Harvest is definitely a hard relationship to manage and doesn’t wait always for things to go as planned. But yet, there are still many who can not wait for the buds to burst and the vines coming alive in the anticipation of a new vintage.
Wine attracts all the senses, our taste…our sight and our smell. It is intoxicating in more ways than just alcohol. It is a vehicle for us to let ourselves express our words with metaphors and tasting descriptions that really have nothing to do with the taste we have in our mouth. It provides many opportunities for those who want to talk about love and life and enjoy the round table discussion. My first smell of Chardonnay fermenting in barrel is still as intoxicating as my first crush as a girl with fire in her heart. It was so strong and beautiful and completely unsafe (fermentation is basically a carbon dioxide trap). But yet I still dream of the fantasy it evokes.
So yeah, there is love. Almost too much in wine. Drink it up and savor it. It ends like the bottle but evolves like the years. We speak of vintages because we long for the times we were all near. Wine is the product of love…just in liquid form.
Gianna Fugazi grew up on a family farm in Linden, California where her family grows cherries and walnuts. Gianna decided to pursue a career in a different agricultural field – the wine industry and pursued study at Sonoma State University.
In studying at Sonoma State she pursued two degrees in both wine business and archeology. After excavating for three summers in Italy she found the lure of winemaking during the seasonal harvests in California and Chile to fuel her passion for wine. She honed in her winemaking skills with a seven-year stint at Flowers Winery located on the Sonoma Coast.
She later started her own brand called Wander-Must and inspires both wine-drinkers and makers. It is a brand of exploration of taste guided by her quirky spirit. She currently works in tandem as a supplier, selling glass for Saverglass.
CONTACT Gianna Fugazi at firstname.lastname@example.org