Back Here's To The Vignerons and Their Wines of Hope

Published on 31 December, 2020

When there is a harvest, each bottle made is a part of its memory. When we open a bottle, the memory is returned. The vines were cared for, the grapes were harvested, the wines were tended for and bottled. The wine has within it the unique imprint of grape, terroir, season and all of the human decisions that were made. It’s liquid testimony.

Sometimes the wine was made in a year of abundance – perfect flowering in spring leading to a multitude of ripe healthy bunches under clear cool autumn skies. Bounty. And sometimes the human effort is twice as much for so much less, the vines hit by frost, hail and then mildew, a race to save the vintage.

And because wines bear the year of their vintage on the label, they tell more than this story still. They remind us that in the happy years of boom and plenty, and the tragic years of recession, war, and pandemic, the cycle of nature continues nonetheless, and the vigneron is there to record it. So long as there is wine, there is hope.

2020 will be remembered with more common global experience and language than most. We may be glad to turn the page. But the cycle of nature continued and the vignerons did their best. In 2021 we will begin to taste those 2020 samples, knowing the wines’ stories will share memory and pleasure for decades to come.

So, as 2020 closes and 2021 begins, here’s to the vignerons, and their wines of hope.