Above you wrote: "Always interesting to get the inside scoop on your wines!"
When sitting at a table in a nice restaurant, with good company, and good wine, wine seems glamorous. And indeed, at that moment, it is. As a collector / enthusiast, I've enjoyed wine on many such occassions.
But today I am reminded that the process of getting wine to that restaurant table is often difficult, though at the same time it can be rewarding. When we invest ourselves in our work, it takes on greater meaning. It is not so much what we do, but how and why we do it.
Today I spent most of the day driving a truck... not my usual workday. We moved three 3-ton fermentation tanks, and 19-French barrels.
It is fitting that of the three cuvees tried at your CDP party, the '05 Cote Est was the favorite. In the spirit of ying and yang, it is also fitting that it rained today in Oregon. Today we moved our equipment out of the Bergstrom Winery.
Josh Bergstrom and his assistant Jorge have been our consulting winemakers for Cote Est since it was first introduced in 2004. As their winery and wine business have grown, it has become necessary for them to focus their energy on their own Bergstrom wines. So today marks the beginning of Le Cadeau Cote Est's migration to a new home. Regrettably, beginning with the 2007 vintage, it will no longer be made at Bergstrom by Josh.
Wine marks time. A winemaker friend of mine once said, "You only get so many vintages, so it's important to make every one count." Almost at the very time that you and your CDP guests were tasting and reviewing the '05 Cote Est, we were bottling the '06 Cote Est (last week). Meanwhile, the '07 grapes are on the vine... turning purple as I write... and our efforts are focused on the future--- another harvest, just 5 or 6 weeks away. Such is the way of wine, it is a time bridge.
When I began working with Josh in the summer of 2004, I did not know him well. Today we are friends. I've sorted grapes at the sorting table along side his father, and I've walked our vineyard with his father-in-law... speaking in broken Spanish since I do not speak French (his native language), and he does not speak much English.
Today I said to Josh's assistant, Jorge, "You must be looking forward to just putting your effort into your own wine." He graciously, and truthfully replied, "It really doesn't matter if we are making wine for ourselves or for others. We make wine, that is what we do. We make the best wine we can, for everybody."
Indeed, Josh and his team have helped us make great wine. It would be easy to let today pass and to simply move on. I really had no plan to write this post, but it seemed to be a fitting way to say, "Thanks!" to Josh, his staff, and his family.
I will miss working with Josh. But on a happy note, we seem to have an uncanny knack for choosing the same time and day to have lunch at the Dundee Bistro. So we can look forward to those meetings, and all of us can look forward to the maturing of the 2005 Cote Est and the release of the 2006... possibly Josh's best Le Cadeau effort to date. Thanks Josh!
Otis, that is a real "day in the life" inside wine story. Perhaps this helps in understanding why we say that Le Cadeau is all about the gift of relationships... the wine is just the excuse.