Things are looking good and life is off to a great start here in the Napa Valley as the 2016 vintage unfolds with new leaf break and life in general just seems to get better even with the usual hassels and uncertainties of our modern, agricultural and commodity driven economy. Of course Napa today is a high end commodity name associated with the very best of the worlds wines. I’ll relax a bit with that idea and count my blessings having grown up here. I’ve seen a lot though and always have my compass and extant handy to divine the future. Don’t laugh too hard ,water divination in our current drought environment is actually a highly sought after talent, and quietly used by newer properties here in Napa located in often improbable areas.
This troubles me. No not ‘well witching’ , but the extremes to which the most remote, scenic and inaccessible parts of Napa County are now being developed for vineyards, and what to me are often luxury home developments parading as wineries. In some cases they pose a threat to not just Napa County watershed but truly pristine wildlife habitat. As an aside my world class mountainous bicycle rides are probably also impacted, but this is surely a somewhat selfish if regretful and unavoidable result of living in such a beautiful place.
I will put aside aside my worries here for a moment and again thank my stars I had grandparents on both sides who saw the opportunities of Napa a century ago. Dairy, fruit orchards and walnut groves are what I grew up with as a kid. Most of my family,including me, are graduates of UCDavis, thst was just a natural trasition growing up here in Napa. Life moves on and my new passion is now owning Napa Terroir Wine Tours.
My first year was a highly gratifying success. A busy and highly productive season helped fulfill my ambitions and allowed me to afford an entire month with my beloved Griselda in El Salvador. (No Zika or Chikangunya thank God). So many holidays I now enjoy. Next, the opportunity to share my love of Napa, Sonoma, fine wine and food along with the history of wine country I can’t begin to describe. I’m now my own boss and when I worry about my clients experience I know someone is listening. And that would be me of course.
Everything I ever engaged living and growing up here in Napa, beginning with raucous youthful enjoyment and leading later to carreer oriented, sometimes admittedly adult excess is fodder for comment and reflexion. Absolutely rare is a part of the Valley, a neighborhood or sometimes even an intersection that I have no comment on. Over twenty years of restaurant work and vineyard and cellar work stretching back to 1974 give a lot of perspective. I also have great humility and treasure for those moments working with the ‘least’ amongst us and having fun partying with them too. Many times especially in 1974 it was I who was the inexperienced worker shovel in hand glad to be taking direction from the more informed coworkers without documents. Oh , I really do have the stories and the ‘real dirt’. Enjoy yourself and travel with me ,Terroir Tim ,on one of my world class wine tours!