This past weekend my father and his apprentices as I like to call them went through the second phase of wine making. Two weeks ago they had already de stemmed the grapes and now the grapes were ready to be pressed. This particular day, we welcomed Chris Maggiolo a student writing his thesis on homemade wine making. He asked my father many questions about the process. Winemaking is one of my father’s greatest passions in life. He built a cantina for this sole purpose. Most would save their money for long vacations or luxury cars. For many Italian’s like my father they prefer this.
When he was growing up in Calabria, he couldn’t afford the luxury of making his own wine. He would join others and help. He said that when he goes to America and makes enough money he would make wine and share it with his friends. That he does. For the past several years a few guys including my brother have joined him; to watch, learn and indulge in one of life’s greatest pleasures. These guys are dedicated and work hard, probably not as hard as my father would like but hard nonetheless…:)
When Chris asked my father if he puts preservatives in his wine, my father scoffed at him. “Good grapes, a place like my cantina to store it and made just right is all you need.” It got me thinking of the process and how artificial additives are very common in wine and in life in general. Got me thinking about friends and wine and how it brings people together. With the right people, my Dad is able to make really good wine without any artificial substances because not only does he have the right tools, he has the right friends. How often can we say that when we encounter life’s up and downs?
Theoretically life is made of good and bad. A few bad grapes could ruin a batch but the good grapes inevitably overpower the bad ones.
My family has always been front and center in bringing people together. We open up our home and share our food and create memories that are far more important than anything I would ever imagine. How hard can that be when you have all the right ingredients in front of you? I hope Chris got what he was looking for this weekend, I know I did.