Where Does Wine Come From? (Part 1)

Of course, we all know that wine comes from grapes.  And grapes come from farmers, right?  So this leads me to my first wine-making hurdle: I am not a farmer.  Thus our first, big, "wine-maker" dilemma centered around finding great grapes.  We knew pinot noir was our passion, which narrowed us down to 60 plus California clones, planted amongst innumerable vineyards, within multiple AVA's.  Huh?  To initiate the Great Grape Search (hereafter known as GGS), we conducted rigorous due diligence with double blind, placebo controlled trials of imbibition (sort of).  We tasted a panoply of pinot, from different vineyards, in geographically unique regions of California.  With great perseverance, we tried to qualify the characteristic we loved in our wines.  Which wines did we want to emulate?  What flavor profiles tickled our palate?  Who knew "science" could be so awesome?

Now anyone who has been immersed in the pop culture of pinot knows that the pinot noir grape has been described as persnickety, temperamental, elusive, finicky, unstable, fussy, pertinacious, and willful.  More bald Britney than debutante, this is not a grape for a long term relationship.  This highly anthropomorphized vitis vinifera is sensitive to too much sun, too little sun, rot, rain, temperature flux, and innumerable other uncontrollable forces of Mother Nature.  And once again I reiterate: I am not a farmer.

We perseverated, poured over Excel spreadsheets, explored powerful, theoretical what-ifs (although nothing would really help us in the event of a massive flood or fire, now would it?), and after much indecision, we ultimately made a great leap of faith.