Come to Your Senses

I’d like to introduce you to our new byline at the winery: “Come to Your Senses.”  Think of it as a personal invitation—to breathe deeply, to slow down, to leave the madness and the rush of the world behind.  Some folks who aren’t enthusiasts scratch their heads when they hear all this talk about slowing down and paying attention.   “What’s the fuss about?” they ask.  “It’s just wine!”   But longtime wine enthusiasts know the story—appreciating wine offers the chance to return to oneself, to each other, to the earth. 

Yesterday I topped off our 2010 Pinot Noir and marveled again at the alchemical process that has taken place.  Another year of transforming grapes into wine.  Sure there are chemists who can chart out the process in a maze of double bonds, reductive processes, and ester formation.  But even for this budding winemaker, who is beginning to understand some of this complexity, the conversion is pure magic. 

We say “Come to your Senses” as an invitation to appreciate this magic.  Wine need not be complicated.   All that is required is attention to what you see, smell, and taste in the glass.  And the more a person pays attention, the more they will notice.  The object of our attention grows in depth and beauty.

Next time you enjoy a bottle of wine with friends and family, take a minute to think of all the forces at play in its creation.   Bring to mind the field crew who cultivated the grapes, the crew in the cellar who crushed, fermented, aged, and bottled the wine.  And the sales staff—whether that be in a grocery store or a tasting room—who brings the wine to you with a smile.  Then smell the wine.  All of those people are in that aroma.  And taste … ah … what an expanse!  Know that you are tasting the sun, the water, the exchange between roots and soil in the earth.  And smile!  Look around the table at those you care for.  Treasure their presence, their health. 

If this sounds a bit like a meditation, you are right.  Appreciating a good bottle of wine is definitely a meditation—the act of coming back to oneself and the world in appreciation.  And it is simple—I do it every time I lift my glass.  I notice the weight of the wine, feel the cool touch on my tongue and lips, savor the flavors as the wine slides into my mouth.  This appreciation offers a gateway into something of depth, something of beauty.  Come to your senses at Tunnel Hill.  We are glad to be on the journey together. 

Michelle Fanton