In the summer of 2005, my mom and I drove up the coast of California. We started in San Diego and cruised (or crawled) up the Coastal Highway. Although I loved the ocean and the cliffs, what really captured me was Pasa Robles. Lesser known than the Napa and Sonoma Valleys, Pasa Robles is home to many family vineyards. Because Pasa Robles was a little over half-way to San Francisco, we decided to spend the night. And on a whim we spent the next day exploring the vineyards, sipping different wines, and listening to its stories.
Who knew there would be so many stories to come from rows upon rows of grape vines? The simple process of fermenting and aging wine fascinated me. The complexity of the different kinds of soils, nuances in grapes, requirements in climates. What most captivated me is that the best wine came from grapes that survived a difficult growing season. Turns out suffering makes for good wine. Perhaps that’s what it means to be pruned in order to bear good fruit.