Over a wonderful bottle of 2000 Rousseau, I recently spent an evening talking about the embattled Governor of South Carolina. Evidently, he is considered a hero by many in France for following his heart or at least being torn about what to do. This honestly and tension is unusual for an American. (Until I had heard this perspective, I tended to focus solely on his hypocrisy.)
Winemakers often face a similar dilemma. Last year, the LA Times ran an article about a famous winemaker who, according to the writer, had tried to make wines for a very famous critic and himself and got lost in the process. You can read the article here – http://shar.es/94HL. (N.B. The winemaker claims to have been misquoted.) More recently, Eric Asimov wrote about one of my favorite wineries in Spain, López de Heredia, who has stuck to their tradition and not tried to follow two masters. In the article, Mr. Asimov quotes another wineries sales director:
“Our technical director is very keen to protect the Marqués de Riscal identity, which I understand, but business is business,” the commercial director, Javier Ybañez Creus, told me. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/12/dining/12pour.html?pagewanted=3&ref=dining
In both cases, a desire for commercial success caused something to be lost.
Being small, we are lucky that our friends support us and we are able to follow our hearts. We do this with our Chardonnay – using Ver Jus and making something unique to us. We also do this with our Syrahs – bucking the trends and doing what we want. I hope we are able to stay true to our hearts and continue our no compromise wine making….