Babies are born. Winemakers die. Ships take people to different places. Clothes sit in a dryer until they get folded. All part of life’s laundry list.
This is the time of the year when winemakers in the Veneto start thinking about their second wine. The grapes dry, to press for Amarone, are just about ready. The Valpolicella has been sitting in the tanks for a few months now. Some of that wine will be transformed when the pressed grapes for the Amarone lend what little life is left to re-infuse the Valpolicella with its energy. We call it Ripasso.
I cannot feel sad for the cycle we all must submit to. Some lives are happier. Some are more fulfilled. Some lives are miserable. Some just go on interminably until boredom stops the beating of the heart. All of these players with their lines and their moves. And we too, with them, making our way across the stage.
These words, as if they could ever substitute for the precious life of wine and the people who circle around it. Take yourself less seriously, one writer suggests. Yes, good reminder.
The passage of folk in the wine world; it happens all the time. We lose a giant in Tuscany. And then one in the Veneto. Sooner or later someone will cease in Piedmont. Or Sicily. Or Abruzzo. It’s inevitable. What isn’t unavoidable is the search for the gems and the stories and the people and the paths that make this short time in the vineyards of Planet Earth so bloody intriguing.
In the short two weeks of 2012 so far, it has been a blur. I think much of this year might be like that, looking at the upcoming travel schedule. My bags are packed. The camera batteries are charged. The SD cards are clean and ready. The passport is at hand. Italy and 2012, I’m ready for you. Here I come.