A Time for Reflection

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I've written in a few of my previous blogs about how our perception of a wine we are enjoying can be affected by our location where we are imbibing.  A certain fondness of our memories while visiting a particular winery or sitting in a restaurant overlooking rolling hills of vineyards, be it France or Italy or where ever.  We tend to remember those times more often as they represent a meaningful and happy time in our life. 

Just as those memories have had a pleasing effect on the wine we were drinking at the time, so too have those memories lingered with us for a variety of other reasons.  I bring this up now as I have been once again affected by the happenings around us.  There were the hurricanes in the Gulf and islands in and around.  I know I mentioned that I had friends in Florida that I prayed for and later found them to be safe.  The earthquake in Mexico.  Now we see the devastating destruction from the fires in California.

Like the hurricanes of Florida, I have friends in California, specifically Napa, that have seen their lives turned upside down, even displaced, by the raging fires.  So far those that I know are safe, although I know some were not so lucky.

The fires also brought back memories that I have had about my time in California and the time spent in Napa.  I joke to some as I tell them that I was there way back in the early 80's when there wasn't a lot there.  Mondavi had completed their facility, Inglenook was still the 1800's building it always was and the tram ride up to Sterling.  But I also remember driving around looking for mailboxes that would have a sign on top of them saying "Come On In."  That was a simple code to let you know they were winemakers.  There were also many outdoor cafes catering to those of us who roamed the countryside.  Downtown Napa was just a small town that has since grown to a mecca for the area.

While most of this is just reminiscing about the past, I feel it is important to hold on to that even harder now that so much damage has been done.  I can't imagine being there looking at your house or business and seeing nothing but ash.  Much like the homes and businesses that were flooded by storms or toppled by an earthquake.  

I could have made this post about how the fires and the smoke taint will affect this particular vintage, and I know that sometime in the near future I will as that is a significant impact to the industry.  For now, however, I prefer to rekindle my memories, make sure my friends continue to be safe and do whatever I can to help people to recover from these tragedies.

Thank you