Argument for the Defense
Kerith and I don't disagree on much. We have similar political and social viewpoints. We share a philosophy on how we want to raise our kids. We're equally neurotic and anal. We both like to go to bed early and wake up early. We even tend to like the same kinds of wine and food. That doesn't mean we agree on everything, however. Kerith, for example, believes it is her God-given duty to max out the credit card every year at the Nordstrom anniversary sale. I, on the other hand, know for a fact that watching football on Sundays is protected under the U.S. constitution. We've argued and debated these points ad nauseam and ultimately reached a delicate détente (i.e., she gets to go crazy at the sale while I get to do chores on Sundays).
But when we launched this site our primary goal was to make sure that both of our voices were given equal weight. And so, I feel compelled to weigh in with a defense of our grapes from the Anderson Valley.
Few of our previous posts have generated as much feedback as Kerith's post on Monday about the smoke taint problem. Many of the responses sided with Kerith's hatred of camping or anything outdoorsy (and apparently "sh*t in a box" is a very powerful image for some of you). But all included hushed condolences about the "loss" of our Anderson Valley grapes. With all of the calls and e-mails we received, I almost felt compelled to tear my shirt, cover the mirrors, break out the low chairs, and start sitting shiv'ah.
So let me be clear - our Anderson Valley pinot is not dead. In my opinion, it's not even on life support. The taint problem is almost universal this year in the Anderson Valley from the fires that burned over the summer (you can read about the problem by clicking here). Does our wine have some smoke taint? Yes. Is it oppressive in the free run we barreled? No. Will it clear up over the next few months? I believe so. When we tasted the fermented juice it had great balance, weight, and fruit. If the smoke recedes even a little bit I think we're going to have a great wine.
That said, Kerith and I are committed to sell only wine that we love ourselves, and we won't pull any punches if the end product is not up to snuff. But, I'm in the wine-glass-half-full camp and think that we'll be just fine.
So please, while we appreciate all of the offers to drop food by the house, really, it'll be OK (unless someone out there makes a mean brisket - in which case you're always welcome).