26 Jan The joy in sharing
Reflections Post-Harvest 2016
By Aurélien LaBrosse, Del Rio’s Assistant Winemaker
It’s that time of the year when the vineyard turns into a golden wave, slowly falling asleep for a well-deserved winter slumber. The cellar slowly starts to quiet down as the effervescence of harvest dwindles and I take a moment to reflect.
My first memory of wine is from staying with my grandparents during the summer when I was about 12. My grandfather would drink wine with lunch, but always diluted with water so that he could enjoy the taste without the buzz (after all, it was only midday). I was use to watching his ritual. One day he poured me a little in a glass—warning me not to tell my mother about it. I was going to taste wine! I was so excited.
This memory represents what wine is to me. A piece of life, a moment in time shared with loved ones. I don’t remember the wine but I remember everything surrounding it—the warmth of a Burgundian summer day in my grandparent’s house in the countryside, a simple meal, a taste of wine.
The wine itself wasn’t important, and yet it was. It was the vessel for creating a memory—creating a bond—between my grandpa and me. A simple, but real moment of selfless sharing.
You’ve probably noticed what happens when you are with people and you pop the cork of a bottle—a moment of silence, captivating everyone’s attention, then an instantaneous expression of joy echoed by cheers.
When you open the bottle, before you even begin to pour the wine, something else comes out of the bottle and fills the room. An ineffable sensation, an atmosphere that transports you to another time and place.
You pour the first glass and the effects are immediate—people are smiling, eyes are shining and faces are relaxing. A few sips and tongues begin to untangle. The exchange that follows may or may not be about the wine, where it’s from or what it tastes like, but more likely will veer off into subjects closer to our hearts.
Moreover, it doesn’t matter if the wine is good, bad, cheap or expensive. What matters are those moments. The ones you shared with people you love over a glass of wine. The wine is the vector for bringing us together, for sharing, for creating memories.
I make wine because I am passionate about it. Wine has the power to connect people in a way that transcends generation and background. From growing the grapes to making the wine, human connection is an essential part of the process.
Wine is made to be drunk and to be shared. As a winemaker, my goal is to capture the essence of the vineyard and its people in a bottle, to try and translate those elements into a wine that can give you a taste of its birthplace. My reward is when the bottle is opened and shared, bringing people together and creating new memories. And who knows? Maybe somewhere a grandfather is sharing a glass of wine and water with his grandson.