Wednesday, April 4, 2012

7. Cabernet

7. Cabernet
Hard packed earth, sun, water:
swaddled the roots, left bare the vine.
I wait for Cabernet.

Cabernet Sauvignon was my entry point into wine. I randomly tried Becker Vineyard's Iconoclast -- a very reasonable buy and a good wine -- and started my journey. For me, it is the essence of my wine journey because now I am trying my own hand at growing, and it is Cabernet.

My little Cabernet vine is teaching an important rule about wine: patience. I have to wait to see what it will do. First, we waited to see if it was still alive after planting. That week and a half was a long one, one with regular check-ups. I so wanted to touch the plant and help it, but I knew, if I did, I could do more harm than good.

Now, my little vine is growing. My two main branches have leaves. Also I see where I may have more very soon. I am excited at this point as the plant grows. I know this will fade as it just keeps doing what it is doing. And at this stage, though I may get more leaves and great size, there will be no big changes for awhile. The buds breaking was the last major change I'll see for awhile.

From what I learned, it will be at least a year, maybe two, before I have grapes. And even if I have them next Fall (this Fall is right out), they will be of little use. When they come, I will reach my next milestone. Then, I'll have to wait until the first usable round grows.

As I said, I just have to wait. I can water and keep the surface of the soil clean. At some point, it will need some help staying up, but it will be a lot of watching and not a lot of doing. This isn't so different from other aspects of wine. I have slowly had to learn, slowly had to explore, before I could come to this place. There were times I wanted to rush, but I couldn't. The same goes for drinking big reds like Cabernet. These wines must open up; they must have time to breathe. I often try to decrease that time with an aerator, but sometimes, I still just have to wait. And, as I keep learning, when I wait, I am rewarded.

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