Prelude to a Harvest

It's 5 p.m. Do you know where Jody is? He's headed north on the freeway toward Central Coast wine country!

Before anyone gets excited, though, I should tell you it's just a winemaking dress rehearsal -- a quick weekend refresher/boot camp on chemistry techniques; punchdowns; and sage advice from our veteran winery friends at Tantara, who have been bringing in Pinot Noir all week long.

This is great news for Jody (other than the L.A./S.B. traffic he'll be enjoying for the next many hours -- Friday afternoon is a heinous time to head north out of San Diego). This is less great news for me, as I'm now looking at a solo parenting weekend -- and a birthday -- with two cranky kids and a gassy pug. (We have got to find some better babysitting options.)

puggypie.jpg

"It wasn't me. I swear. Also: I love you."

Ready For the Crush

This past week, as more and more wineries plunge headlong into harvest -- and as the anticipation here builds for our own -- I've been thinking a lot about why this particular passion found a home in our house.

We Towes like to do things ourselves that most people leave to the "experts." Why shop for a bag of potatoes when you can grow your own - in your yard? Why buy a jar of sliced jalapenos when you can pickle your own - in your kitchen? Why have a baby in a hospital when you can do it at home - in your bathtub? (That's right.)

The love and passion Jody and I share for creation, growth, birth -- for us, at this moment in our lives, it all comes together in the alchemy of winemaking. (Why buy a bottle of wine when you can make your own - in your garage?)

A Chapter Begins

Nature works in beautiful harmony with humankind. Childbirth, gardening, processing winegrapes on a blindingly bright fall day -- the times when I have felt most alive are moments of clarity (and messiness) when I realize that I am capable of ushering into being what brings me the most joy.

harvest2008a.jpg

September 2008 - Sorting precious Pinot Noir fruit

While the legwork of parenting continues, the baby-making chapter of our lives has ended. Now, the spark that longs to link up with nature -- and create -- ushers in our new chapter ... winemaking. Bring on the harvest!