Some of you may know, and some not that I have one sibling, a two year younger brother. He’s someone who’s vision I have much admiration for. A number of years ago he took his passion for wine and winemaking specifically Pinot Noir and created MacPhail Family Wines. He’s also the winemaker for Sequana. In my biased opinion he’s an exceptional winemaker. That’s also the opinion of those not related to him. Check out the rave reviews on his website. http://www.macphailwines.com Or peruse the site just because it’s a fun one! Both MacPhail Wines and Sequana source their grapes from farmers who share a common philosophy.
This morning’s Press Democrat has a wonderful profile of James, my brother and Jim Pratt of Pratt Vineyards written by Virginie Boone. She catches a behind the scenes glimpse of an extremely important aspect of winemaking, the relationship between the grape grower and the winemaker. In the case of these two I have great respect for both. Their years of working closely together is truly represented by the wines.
My dabbling in grapes is of the table variety. There are three different types, one of them recently planted the other two more mature in my backyard. I also have helped out with harvest at MacPhail Wines for a number of years. This can be getting up while it’s still dark to visually document a pick which happens by hand or pulling jacks and stems. I’m embarrassingly slow at picking but I’ve gotten good at the backbreaking but meditative jacks and stems gig. This means that I’m now sort of qualified for a part time seasonal job. Harvest 2010 is potentially a mere three months away so it’s time to locate my grape stained t-shirts in preparation for the sorting table.
I’ll also toss in the Sequana Vineyards website . Sequana produces single vineyard Pinot Noir. http://www.sequanavineyards.com