sea turtles

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Somewhere between jumping head first into the wilds of the wine world when we planted a vineyard in 2006, and sucking up our resolve to make wine from the grapes we farm and figuring out how to reach beyond the throngs of average to sell a wine like ours (still working on this), I’ve had the feeling as if lifted in a great wave, with legs still running as I try to find my footing before it crashes me on the shore. Instead of surrendering, and just riding that wave to the sandy beach that is right within reach, I remain doubtful, and work to stay upright in an almost panic mode, getting miserably tired doing so.

Having made it on shore, a sea turtle rests.

Watching sea turtles last week on what I hope will remain our annual South Pacific splurge (until Sam gets old enough for us to weather a 14-hour flight to Europe, finances permitting!), I got a whole different perspective AGAIN (I wrote about my first encounter with Sea Turtles in 2010). Bounced and pummeled about in the great oceans they call home, these turtles just go with it. Sure, they’ll steady themselves in the surf with their flippers, but it’s the simple confidence evident in their movement — be it coming on shore, resting in the ocean, or chomping sea grass while someone snorkels near by — that is striking. There doesn’t even seem to be a surrender on their part, to the shifting of the currents, to the pull of the tides, or the curiosity of large, obscenely white, two-legged fish floating over head, but a sureness that on their journey, THIS is exactly what they need to be doing, it’s all part of it.

I don’t know if what we’re doing on our end is exactly what we need to be doing — we need to sell wine and time is running out; we’re not doing it fast enough. I’d like to think it’s not because we’re trying to swim upstream while everyone swims down, but the fact is, that’s exactly it. That is the nature of our journey. We’re fighting a current; to surrender would push us along the same path as everyone else, and that is not who we are. Yet we need to land somewhere. We need sureness, like that small sea turtle who knows she can cross great expanses and be OK. Maybe it’s just a shift in how I think — instead of having my legs rotor through the lift of a wave, I tuck in, and just go with it? Maybe.

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How golden the sun on December’s last day,
Not rainy like last year’s —now faraway.
A brisk winter’s afternoon light fills the sky
And the colored bulbs wait for the moment when night
Descends all around us, a new year’s fresh start
As we all celebrate in the bright of this dark.

Happy New Year, One and All – Stephanie, Scott, Samuel, and Jack


2010 Top Ten Highlights (in no particular order)

  1. Sold some wine!
  2. The Grande Dalles’ wine and story are getting out.
  3. David Rosengarten told us he found Leroy’s Finest the best American Riesling he’s ever tasted.
  4. Proper sleeping arrangements are now in order.
  5. Sea turtles.
  6. We got an up close look inside The Machine.
  7. Thankfully, our grapes ripened just right.
  8. Our third harvest, and Sam turned two!
  9. Samuel started asking for his own glass of wine at dinner.
  10. Little House on the Hill Project takes a shape.

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Reading a fairly recent WS blog by James Laube about winemakers with style reminded me of what Scott has been saying since ’45:

“I don’t make wine for anyone except me.”

“Wait. Woah. Hold on, Hoss,”

I’d say to him.

“How the hell are we supposed to sell wine you only make for yourself?!”

Even before planting the vineyard we had talked about not catering to the critic’s palate, and for sure not rushing after or trying to predict the wine flavour of the day. That wasn’t the point of any of this. But to hear Scott put it out there on the table so, well, matter-of-factly (or egoistically, depending on how one feels AT THE TIME), I was taken aback, made a little nervous.

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HIGHLIGHTS: An idea considered. Hawaii building musingsmusings.


With Week Three-Point-Five of The Little House On the Hilltop (TLHOTH) project now behind us, let me share what’s happened.

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