I’ve finally been to Napa. My brother-in-law is a big fan of California wines and for his fiftieth birthday he invited some of the family to join him for a couple of days in the Napa wine country. We had a fantastic time and I actually enjoyed some of the wines. I’ve even recommended two of the wines we tasted in the Wine Reviews section for this month.
Napa to say the least – is very different from Bordeaux. It is much more tourist friendly than Bordeaux ever thought about being which is both a positive and a negative. The main road is crowded and moves slowly through the various small towns, restaurants are packed and big wineries have tasting rooms for a fee. There are no grand chateaux, and thanks to prohibition, there are a relatively small number of producers (under 400) compared to some 8,000 wineries in Bordeaux.
There is one thing I noticed
they both have in common. When you meet great wine makers – the really great wine makers – they have a passion for what they do that transcends good business sense and elevates them to a level of artist. Pam Starr is such a winemaker.
Pam is the driving force behind Crocker & Star Wines and she spent a couple of hours with us last week. She was almost giddy as she opened her prized wines and spoke with great passion about her winemaking techniques.
Pam spends a lot of time with the soil. Pam told us that she spends time with each plot of her vineyard to determine which grape varietals will be best in that soil. She is passionate about congruency. Certain soil is best for Chardonnay grapes, and other soil is best for Cabernet. The quality of the soil determines the quality of the wine and without the congruency of putting the right grapes in the soil that is best for them she cannot make a great wine.
Pam is also passionate about making a wine that reflects who she is. She sat with us at a long stone table, shaded by an arbor of Wisteria talking about her wines. She was relaxed, and unpretentious and so are her wines. She makes the best Cabernet Franc I’ve ever tasted and it is a great reflection of who she is. The wine is honest and unpretentious, and as
she spoke about the soil and the grapes I could also sense that the wine was just like her.
There is a great lesson here for us. We will live great lives when we find congruency in who we are (our Core Motivator, our gifts, our personality and our skills), and when we learn to navigate our lives out of that congruency. Great work flows out of a
Know Who You Are And Be It!.