When I visit a vineyard or open a bottle of wine, the aroma and depth of place and time emerges and informs. It is the land and the harvest, the climate and year’s weather that defines and structures the vintage. Unlike Eiseley, I can return to that field and the earth from which the vines drew their life. And, with each sip I can experience the unique and vital terroir, and understand the life released with the pop of a cork.
Loren Eiseley’s “Brown Wasps” sticks in my mind as I begin this blog and try to understand the effect of soil and climate on the food we eat and the wine that we drink. In Eiseley’s case, there was a realization that with the passage of time we still yearn to return to the familiar and comfortable, even when the place has changed (brown wasps returning to an abandoned nest or Eiseley himself searching for a tree that is no longer there). Eiseley states: "But sometimes the place is lost in the years behind us. Or sometimes it is a thing of air, a kind of vaporous distortion above a heap of rubble. We cling to a time and place because without them man is lost, not only man but life."