Jared Diamond, Earth Day, and Wine of the Week ~ Iron Horse’s New Chardonnay Releases all began this past weekend…

My pick for this week is the 2011 Iron Horse UnOaked Chardonnay. A refreshingly delicious wine, with flavors that bring in ripe pear, baked to perfection in a delicious crisp dessert (sans sugar), this wine is crisp and clean and was a perfect complement to the heat of this spring day at iron Horse’s rural setting… This wine will not disappoint your taste buds and will pair beautifully with foods that offer some creamy textures.

My week began on Sunday April 21, 2013, with an Earth Day event at Iron Horse Vineyards. I was greeted with their newest 2011 Unoaked Chardonnay as we headed up to the clearing where the wine tasting was happening.  I arrived and as I sipped its clean, delicious flavors of ripe pear, I felt like it’s just all good at Iron Horse… from the sustainable farming practices, to the winemaking, to the marketing and PR. Actually, I’ve been giving the word “sustainability” a lot thought lately, because I’m a bit antsy for more people to get it. What is it going to take to get people to understand the ability to sustain themselves, versus becoming a slave to the antics of big business?

You need to know, before I came to California, I lived in rural Maine on Allen Pond, supposedly the state’s cleanest, spring-fed body of water. Jose and I heated our home with eight cords of wood for the winter… we had back up electricity for those really cold nights…but, usually, it was just me stoking the fires through sub zero weather for a couple of months a year. We had our own well and septic systems. If you want to talk primitive in the US, we pretty much qualified, when a hurricane would knock out electricity for 7 days at a time. (Try living 7 days in Maine – in October – without electricity for lights, your well, or your septic system’s pump, and bathing in the pond when water was in the 50 degree neighborhood, and you’ll begin to imagine the ability to sustain.

Why did I do it? Because I wanted to know if I could… and I can. Yeah, wine was welcoming during that time, too.

The more I read about GMO products, the more I feel for my grandchildren. Why, for instance, when I was growing up did NO ONE have food allergies? Now, my kids and their kids can’t even begin to process the foods of big business. I’ve come up with a saying, “If a product can afford to advertise, my body can’t afford to ingest it.” I’m organic all of the way, from fruits, vegetables, and grass fed animals… buying our eggs from a farmer that we can walk to in 10 minutes from our home.

My reason for wanting to join Joy Sterling at her event, besides the joy she brings to my life, was her guest speaker; Pulitzer Prize winning and best selling author Jared Diamond. His latest book “The World Until Yesterday” studies what we can learn from Traditional Societies (subtitle, even). A professor of geography at UCLA, Jared has picked up many awards throughout his illustrious career:

  • National Medal of Science
  • Tyler Award for Environmental Achievement
  • Japan’s Cosmos Prize
  • MacArthur Foundation Fellowship
  • Lewis Thomas Prize; honoring the scientist as a poet, presented by Rockefeller University
  • Pulizer Prize for his book Guns, Germs, and Steel

Joy’s criteria for who she’ll have at the “Celebrate Earth Day With Green Valley” events is very strong. For instance, last year, she didn’t have this event, because no one jumped out at her at the time that would have a strong enough message. The year before, it was Ted Turner who gave hope to the planet’s future.

So, skipping that year gave us all time to reflect. Meanwhile, Jared’s message began as one that is very ominous for our planet, regarding environmental and social changes he’s observed around the world. Jose even said to me that he somewhat scared the pants off him… just before he turned that corner and offered hope.

I have to thank Jenifer Austin for collecting his thoughts on YouTube in a five part series. (I didn’t have to take notes, as I focused on pictures.) These videos are very important to help us understand where we are, and where we can be going – with some kind of a conscious effort.

Do your children and (if your lucky enough to have them) grandchildren mean anything to you?

  1. Jared Diamond speaks for Earth Day 2013 at Iron Horse Vineyards, Sonoma. Part 1. His new book is “The World until Yesterday.”
  2. Jared Diamond speaks for Earth Day 2013 at Iron Horse Vineyards, Sonoma. Part 2
  3. Jared Diamond speaks for Earth Day 2013 at Iron Horse Vineyards, Sonoma. Part 3
  4. Jared Diamond speaks for Earth Day 2013 at Iron Horse Vineyards part 4
  5. Jared Diamond speaks for Earth Day 2013 at Iron Horse Vineyards part 5

His revelations came in a few unexpected ways for me… Yeah, big business. This doesn’t mean I’m ever going to jump into big business’s foods being offered; but, the intriguing caveat is that if something is going to ultimately benefit big business, and it’s offered in a way that shows them the savings, they’ll adopt the new practices. These new ways of conducting themselves financially befits them – as well as us, so there’s the solution to many problems. We’re back to Jerry McGuire… Put away your bleeding heart and “Show me the money… ”

More later… I’ve got an important book to read… “The World Until Yesterday”

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