Where was the small man with the big hat? Or was it a big man with a small hat–and even bigger vines?
I stopped by the Cavas Wine Lodge in Mendoza, Argentina last spring after it had just opened. Proprietor Cecilia Diaz was showing us around the new lodges interspersed among the vines with breathtaking views of the Andes. This guy rode out and started doing his thing but posed for me to take a picture. Cecilia said that he had worked there forever so they kept him on when they bought the property and gave him a new bike. And, no, he wasn’t very tall, in fact.
Nice guess, Luiz, with Zuccardi in Mendoza! In fact, I took another photo of Jose Zuccardi gesticulating wildly under his similar trellis system. They grow them vines big there!
It was a wide range of guesses that emerged in the comments including: Golan Heights; Bekka, Lebanon; Brazil; Rias Baixas, Spain; Greece; Portugal; California; the Swan and Barossa Valleys of Australia; Thailand; and “the outback region of Mukwonago, Wisconsin” (thanks, Gary!).
There were good captions for the photo too, including “Frodo Baggins better destroy that damn ring or I’m going to be making wine for that sulky serpent Saruman!”
So without further ado, thanks to a roll of the dice at random.org, the winner of The Emperor of Wine is: Philippe Newlin! Congratulations, Philippe! And thanks to all for the participation and humor.
Where in the wine world is he? Add your thoughts in the comments below.
Correct responses (region and country) will be entered into a random drawing for the paperback edition of The Emperor of Wine, by Elin McCoy. This book is a new paperback and will ship directly from Amazon.com.
As a bonus, also post a caption for the photo and your name will be entered in the drawing twice. Comments must be posted by Monday Nov 26 to be eligible. Drawing happens Tuesday so use an email that you will have access to that day.
Where was she? It turns out that she is Beate Knebel and she was gesticulating over the Röttgen vineyard on the banks of the lower Mosel. Beautiful, eh? Click on the photo above to see more satellite imagery of the area. The arrow is actually the address of the Knebel winery but Beate was a little down river (to the right) in the photo.
I dropped by Crush Wine Co last week and bought a bottle of her Winninger Hamm Kabinett 05 Riesling (about $22, find this wine). I spoke with Stephen Bitterolf, reader of this site and a wine buyer at the store, and he later sent me the pic from his recent trip there. I tried the wine at home and found the wine to have an alluring nose of tropical fruits and a fantastic balance between sweetness and acidity, and a hugely pleasurable and lingering finish. Great stuff. In fact, it would be my choice if I had to confront some sweet sweet potatoes at Thanksgiving. Sweet vs. Sweet, I find, generally tones down sweet.
So congratulations to Alice Feiring! She was the first commenter and the first to guess correctly, thus winning a link. Many other correct guessers included: Andrea Gori, Greg Moore (who nailed it down to the
vineyard town), Debbie (who said she had been there too), and Karl Storchmann. Way to go!
And the winner in the kids at wineries photo contest is…Josh for his son, Jackson, propped on a new oak barrel. Even though Josh had an inside edge thanks to starting his own winery in Sonoma and his own blog at pinotblogger, site reader Damon mounted a formidable campaign for photo of his adorable daughter Avery. It was such a heated battle that there was a lead change as recently as yesterday! But the late surge put Josh/Jackson over the top with 47% of the 377 votes cast when polls closed. There is some poetic justice in Josh’s victory since it was his original comment that sparked this whole kids at wineries thread about six weeks ago.
Josh wins a complete set of books by my wife, Michelle, in the Urban Babies Wear Black series, including the New Baby Baby’s Journal, and the black onesie/tshirt. Do Sonoma babies wear black? Time will tell…
Thanks to everyone who submitted very cute photos. One of the other finalists, Amy, has her own winery in the Rhone and put up a posting related to this thread. Amy sez: “I can certainly tell you that here at La Gramière we couldn’t get along without kids! They are always an enormous help to us during harvest, and they add such a wonderful esprit to the whole event. So here are some of my favorite kid photos from our past 3 harvests…”
One final vignette: I was on a panel with Joel Peterson of Ravenswood Winery last week and he told a story about grape ripeness. Thirty years ago he would throw his son on his back and walk through the vineyards to check the sugar levels with his refractometer. The best measure for ripeness, he found, was simply to pass a grape back to his son, Morgan: if he ate it they were ripe, if he spit it out, the grapes had to stay on the vine a little longer.
So here’s to responsible kids and parents at wineries, something (nearly) everyone can raise a glass to!
Should kids be banned from wineries? The recent poll on this topic generated a heated discussion and, as of this writing, those against banning kids were ahead by a 3-1 margin.
But I want to see those kids. So let’s have a kids and winery photo contest! Cute overload! In fact, for those who live nearer wine bars or wine shops than wineries, it could be kids in that sort of wine environment photo too. Rather than just the usual “glory” that I hand out, this time there will be actual prizes.
Since we have a wine and kids combination in our very own house, I’m drawing on that for the prize. My wife, Michelle, has written four children’s books and a baby journal. The prize will be a complete set of her five books, including the not-yet-released newest book in the series! It will also include an Urban Babies Wear Black onesie.
Here are the books:
Am I trying to stick my finger in the proverbial eye of those who voted
anti-child pro-banning in the poll? No! Even if you’re pro-banning, you can still send in a picture of a kid at a winery. Photoshop is your friend, people! And should you win, you can give the books away to your favorite niece or nephew. Just to sweeten the deal, I’ll throw in a box of grape juice.
So here’s what you need to do. Send in your photos to me at tyler at drvino dot com by Monday, October 1. I’ll put them up on this site. (If you want me to link to your blog, let me know the details–if you want anonymity for your little one, I’ll assign the photo a number.) Then during that week, you can vote for your choice and maybe even caption the photos. By Sunday, October 7, the one with the most votes wins the prize!
I really like the photo since it shows such contrasts between the vineyard and the surrounding area. The photographer, Alastair writes that after visiting the winery, he “drove up one of the most frightening roads I had ever been on and took a photo from the Te Mata Peak facing east.” He snapped the above photo too (click to enlarge; see a satellite image here). See more of Alastair’s photos on his site, 18percentgray.com.
Related: “Grapes on the half shell“