The editorial was written for the introduction of The Wine Hour #12 with Beth Novak Milliken.
Harvest is a moment of joy and celebration, though it requires hard manual work and dedication. It’s the end of a cycle. A moment where nature delivers its bounty. Yes, in some seasons, the grapes are better than others. It’s a reminder that nature is the ultimate decision-maker. And we should never forget that we are part of nature. We are not its master. Nature is far too complicated to fully understand its interconnections. Humans have tried to alter and even dominate nature. They created agro-industrial processes, petroleum-based pesticides and herbicides. But the outcome is not so glorious. Even if you look at the return on investment, it is ever diminishing. And when eventually the soil is rendered sterile, then the game will be over.
In the wine world, luckily you have wineries like Spottswoode and many more that understand the importance of working with nature and not trying to dominate it. I have huge respect for them. Because all their time, effort and investment is at the mercy of the elements. They know there will be ups and downs but they keep on. You don’t get into this work for a fancy. They are way better ways to make money. They go into it because they believe in nature and our place within it. Working together: human and nature. To ultimately celebrate the abundance because when taken care of, nature is generous.