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Ecology,Vineyards,Viticulture,Wine,Wine Blogger,Wine Business,Wine Education,Wine Making,Winemaker,Winery

The Honor of Organic Wines, as Taught to Me by Fabius

During the 1960s, I crossed over into the antidisestablishmentarianism movement. It was a very exciting time… part of the bra burning process. It wasn’t necessarily easy, because I was in the business of fashion at the time, and my persona took quite a diva dive. I went natural, nursing three daughters.  Never once did a plastic bottle with a rubble nipple ever touch my children’s lips… The mere thought of a bottle filled with “formula” just turned my stomach. “How could I possibly do that to my children?” I thought, and I never did. They went from me to a cup; from my milk to solid foods. In my world I gave them the best of the best, including shunning plastic diapers, so landfills (and the world’s ecology) wouldn’t have to deal with that one. Remember, that was back when they were invented, and the best thing since an electric knife. And, yes, I gave away all of my electric appliances, took the legs off my table so we could sit on the floor to dine, and threw out my TV. I learned and practiced to this day transcendental meditation and yoga. In my world, I was organic… eating whole foods from my local natural food store, and became a vegetarian. I hated tofu, so I became a bit malnourished, but that’s another story.

Time went on, and I (like everyone else from that generation) morphed with the times; however, the principles still lie within my moral and ethical code. The years have made me more tolerant of others who are different than I am. That’s part of the aging process, and one of the beautiful things about life in the mutable zone.

So… Do I love the concept of organic wines? Oh, yeah.

Do I only drink organic wines? It’s not possible.

“Why?” you might ask. Because organic wines don’t support my existence. I don’t have one organic client. I do have a huge range of clients with whom I work, and I’m very open to what they’re doing, because we support each other. I appreciate the organics, but they don’t need me or my services so far. I’ll let you know when (and if) anyone steps forward. I’d love to tell that story for a winery. It’s so pure, and I’ve only strayed off that purist path a bit. In my hippie days, I lived hand to mouth in Maine as organic. I can’t see doing that in California’s wine country, because I would have to become a field hand, and my needs have grown in life… I have to pay for my computers, printers, phones, etc.

So, back to the honor of organic wines.

I was just reminded of my early earth momma days by Fabius of Vinos Ambiz.

For the last two weeks, he’s commented on my story/experiment with boxed wine. He has the same exact aversion reaction to boxed wine that I had to feeding my children with a bottle and formula. And I get it, because he’s currently working the same earth I worked (and still work) in my organic vegetable garden, 40 years later.

The honor of what he’s doing can’t be underscored, and is the exact opposite of my story/experiment, so in his world I’ve sold out. I’m okay with that, because it’s a great debate. In my world, any objection is simply a request for more information. In this case, it would only be answering his “why” would I bother give a large company any space on this blog. The answer to that is the Honor of Writing. In my writing, I’m open to learning what the world has to offer as an opportunity to learn more, and share with anyone interested in what I’m doing as a wine industry publicist.

Paul Dolan of Mendocino Wine Company has had space on my blog, the father of organic wine, because I know him well. He’s one of my PS I Love You members. I wrote about him on an Earth Day. It just made sense. [I just went back to find the file so I could give you the link. It appears that the link became broken, when my blog was shifted from one server to another. I’ll have to see what I can do about that. I liked that story.]

Here’s what I’ve learned about Fabius, because he’s taken his time to read this blog. Commenting on my blog sent me to his to learn a bit about him, too, and I liked what I read.

He’s a passionate man, who lives in Spain. He’s currently pruning his Vinos Ambiz organic vineyard, and he’s living life his way without compromises. He can take leisurely lunches, which I know must be wonderful. He’s taking time – with his blog – to teach others about the biodynamic principles that he’s learned and is using, and complimenting that with images. His ladybug is pointed out in this way:

Here we can see a ladybird (US: ladybug), a bit out of focus (sorry, will do better next time). Ladybirds are our friends! They are super-predators and eat all sorts of nasty aphids and bugs that attack the vines/grapes. This is just a small part of the vastly complex biodiversity that we work to create in the vineyard, as opposed to using industrial agro-chemicals that poison the environment and affect peoples’ health.

He takes his readers through the day-to-day workings of his company, which includes labor intensive bottle washing for recycling, for instance. He writes about his joys and woes, and he has time to talk about wines he’s tasted. (You’ll find that in his category: Twitpic)

What Fabius is doing is chronicling his journey. It makes me wish the Internet had been invented for consumer use back in the days of when my spirit was lifted and set free.

If you’d like to read about someone’s holistic journey, you’ll enjoy following Fabius…. It’s fabulous and honorable.

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4 Responses to “The Honor of Organic Wines, as Taught to Me by Fabius”

  1. Fabius says:

    Hi Jo, Thanks for dedicating a post to me and my organic wine project. I was (pleasantly) surprised and amazed that anyone would want to do so, and it was in fact the first time.
    I don’t think that you’ve “sold out” at all, as you say above. Life is too complex for black/white, all/nothing stances. My own life is also full of inconsistencies, incoherences and compromises (UNlike what you say above!). For example, the winery is nowhere near being environmentally friendly (yet!) as we don’t have a water management/recycling system, because we cant afford it, so we literally pour hundreds of liters down the drain every time we clean. Neither do we have solar panels, or use gravity. I also drive a car and buy industrial foodstuffs produced by ‘slave labour’ in countries thousands of miles away, etc, etc.
    But I don’t whip myself about it! Instead I try to focus on the positive things I DO do, for example we cultivate our grapes organically and improve the fertility of the soil, and we make wine with no chemicals, use natural corks, recycle our bottles, etc. Basically, as time goes by, we are able to become more and more ‘ecological’; it’s probably impossible to be 100% ecological and eco-friendly but the closer we get, the better, no?
    I think that when I’m in the vineyard or winery, I’m a bit of an old hippie (even though I was born 20 years too late, and even though I studied Economics, and even though I’m into marketing), but my persona changes when I step into the ‘real world’. Maybe it’s because I’m a Gemini! Or maybe I’ve ‘sold out’! In any case, I’m happy with my incoherences and compromises and I’m going down a road I’m happy with too.
    Here’s hoping to meet you one day so we can have a long chat over some lovely glasses of wine 🙂

  2. Jo says:

    Greetings, Fabius… Even the monks have their vices that they don’t talk about… Earth school is like that. There’s no perfection, yet some of us are driven to it, still. I know it well. I had to come to that conclusion years ago, when I DIDN’T miss the hippie movement, and know you would have made a nearly perfect being with those of us striving to create utopia.

    So, your practices are admirable, and when you do have wine that you’re selling, it will be a weekend wine.

    Let’s see if the universe allows our parts to cross in real time… meanwhile, the Internet is a great place to communicate. Having a glass of wine together can now be done through Skype. What an amazing world we live in. I remember the first TV being brought into my house as a kid, and we’d sit for a half hour in front of it (in the attic, so we’d be closer tot he antenna, and watch test patterns… Big circle with the number 17 in the middle of it… and lots of what we called “snow.” And still, some of us can find a way to live in the work and work with our hands. Amazing…

  3. Jo says:

    One more thought… It’s so great that someone who is just starting out can be noticed by someone else, and then written about.

    Had this been 5 years ago, your chances of that happening would have been a billion to one. No major publication would consider someone just starting out. The thinking was… “Go prove yourself. I don’t care who you are, Fat Man, just get those reindeer off my roof!”

    Today, with the advent of blogs and bloggers, anyone, anywhere can find him or herself as part of a story.

    Talk about leveling the playing field, and massive distribution of one’s information.

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