My fellow Colleagues, Correspondents, and Countrymen;
In literary circles irony is often called The English Disease and your author is quite fond of it. He is fond of many things British: Monty Python, hella-quick little two-seater cars, and Stilton cheese being among them. And P.G. Wodehouse. It simply would not do to describe my love of the English and not include Mr. Wodehouse.
And so the irony of this past Wednesday did not escape me. On that day the omnipotent building inspector for Benton County came to the farm and gave the tasting room its final blessing. So a morning that should have been noted for its David Niven-esque convivial jocularity at achieving such a goal turned into a rueful Claude Rains-esque half-smile and arched eyebrow at the realization that we don’t know when we’re going to be able to open. “As flies to wanton boys are we to the gods,” sighs Edgar in King Lear, “they kill us for their sport.”
OK, maybe it’s not that bad, could be a bit of hyperbole there, but you get the point. The positive news about this is that when The Corona rules are dialed back, we will be ready to serve you our wine in our tasting room legally and even safely. When that date will be is up to the virus itself. One thing is certain; Mother’s Day looks to be right out. As a matter of fact, lets just take that off the table right now. Perchance Memorial Day? One can only hope.
But until that time our wines are available online. For gate side pickup call us at (541)847-6132 to place an order and arrange for pickup. If we are out working in the vineyard leave a message and we will get back to you ASAP. We’ll be looking for you out on the Cutoff, wine in one hand and card reader in the other. Our 20% social distancing discount will be available for the duration of the emergency
Outside of that our quarantine experience has probably mirrored yours. We have watched in slack-jawed horror every episode of The Tiger King. We have baked. We have showered the Wolfhound with affection and snatches of the food right off of our plates thereby setting horrible examples for dog owners everywhere. We have stayed in our robes until one in the afternoon working on a jigsaw puzzle. (“We really should get dressed and get moving,” says she. “Why?” asks I in all sincerity). We have drank entirely too much. We have bickered about the stupidest things imaginable (“I swear to God you have Tourette’s”), cooked together, done lawn work together, played cards together, and been lazy together. It has not been an entirely unpleasant experience.
I have found Nature to be absolutely fascinating during this time. The dolphins are swimming in the crystal-clear canals of Venice, the first time anyone has seen that in living memory. The goats are descending from their crags and clopping along the streets of a town with an unpronounceable name in Wales. Penguins free-range in zoos like tiny fat, drunken tourists. Los Angeles is enjoying the cleanest air it’s had since World War II. The vineyard is no exception. It is in fine fettle and we have undergone bud-break. Bud-break is exactly what it sounds like; the buds on the vines explode out of their little capsules and tiny, velvety green leaves deploy, reaching for the sun. Bud-break is the notice of great portent, that the pulsing rhythm of concupiscent energy has finally returned after the gray winter. It is a sign of hope, a reminder that while the Winter always comes, it is always followed by the verdure, vitality, and vigor of Spring.
So I leave you with this. Herself, in a former life, was an Army Veterinarian and attended the USDA’s animal disease center on Plum Island, which is located on an island for extremely good reasons that will keep you up at night if you choose to learn about them. So she knows something about epidemiology, and way more than your Uncle Fred’s lawn-mower mechanic, who heard it from a guy, who got it from another guy, who got it from his weed-dealer that The Rona is being spread by the Chinese with their insidious 5G network so they can expand their insidious 5G network. She is taking this extremely seriously. We are following the mitigation recommendations as closely as is practical. We are reaching out to those we care about and ensuring they’re doing as well as can be expected. We recommend that you do the same because nothing is more important to all of us than your safety. So be kind, be patient, be forbearing, and above all, be apart.
Pete Salerno, Winery Cork Integrity Team Lead (unfortunately (?) inspecting corks can only be done after the cork is pulled. Tough job, but I do what I can.)