My friend and neighbour Paul Brasset has been a winemaker in Sonoma County for over thirty years. Over those thirty years, he has won the Sonoma County Sweepstakes award for his Chardonnay (more than once). He has recently started selling wines from his own cellars, but has started with only Syrah and Zinfandel. I asked him why he doesn’t sell a Chardonnay?
According to Paul, Chardonnay takes more. It takes more to grow the grapes. It takes more to harvest the grapes correctly. It takes more to process the grapes and create the wine. Chardonnay takes more energy. Chardonnay takes more refrigeration. Chardonnay takes more attention. It simply takes more to create a good Chardonnay. His Chardonnay leaves a clean, fresh, crisp palette. Unlike the robust, meaty, lingering palette of a Zinfandel, it takes more to be less.
When I heard this explanation, I decided that I was going to be Chardonnay. I was going to do more. I was going to be more. I was going to ask more (of myself and of other people). I was going to be a good Chardonnay. Clean. Crisp. Now.
When I tried this theory out on a few people, one person mentioned in an email:
>”…I wish you all the best with your quest to become
> chardonnay. When all you drink is fine wine it may
> seem as common as tapwater. Some prefer water to
> kool-aid. Some crave pure glacier water much more
> than kool-aid, or the finest of wines, chardonnay and
> champagne included…”
So, then I started thinking about my experiences with glaciers and glacier water. Now, I’ve been thinking I might aspire to be glacier water instead of Chardonnay. Here is what I think when I think about glacier water (based on specific visuals of the Dyea River, Skagway Alaska, the Yukon River and the Kluane River, Yukon Territory): Pure. Natural. Rich in minerals and nutrients (substantial but crystal clear). Earthy. Honest. Firm but fluid. Flexible. Travelling. Moving. Independent. Enduring. Essential. Real.
I tried my glacial water theory out on a few people. Yet another person considered that, effectively, I should be Chardonnay made from glacier water. Maybe I’ll open a winery in the Yukon…