Terroir in wine as well as life is a “sense of place”. It embodies a certain characteristic quality, the sum of the effects that the local environment has had on the entity. For wine this means the soil, climate, vine type and care given to the vineyard naturally, not with man made forces. That is why I believe the best grapes come from organic vineyards that are tended for lovingly.
For those of you only interested in wine, it is not necessary to read on……On Saturday May 21, we had a ceremony to bury my Mom in Nebraska. She was buried next to her parents in Ravenna, NE. Fourteen years ago my Dad was buried next to his brother and sisters in White Salmon, WA. Both families, along with my immediate family, are amazing and give me a sense of place that has shaped my life completely.
I hope our wine from the Turtle Vines vineyard is half as good as the family terroir that shaped it!
My nephew Cody gave an incredibly moving speech of what his grandmother meant to him. I have put it below.
What was always so clear to me was that I loved her and she loved me. There was …neither question nor condition. For me, she will always be wrapped up in a thousand generous memories. Wrapped up in a warm fondness never to fall tepid, wrapped up in the fabric of ideals that I have learned to be the meaning of family, wrapped up in that white baby blanket she sowed me that I loved till it was the likes of a tattered dish rag. In the house on Ken Lake Drive, she will always be the late night figure in the kitchen reading the newspaper keeping abreast of the world’s current events, the TV on, Sherlock Holmes or Xena in the background, maybe a bowl of cereal. This was grandma’s house. This was Thanksgiving and birthdays and Christmas, this was grandma’s cat who walks through doors, these were grandma’s books, these were grandma’s games, these were grandma’s stacks of papers and her angel trinkets, these were grandma’s photos, my photos. The Puyallup fair, African violet conventions, a summer in London, being silly, laughing, learning, these were the memories of my childhood – inseparable.
I think of her there at my sporting games, my plays, my graduations, all those milestones we like to celebrate. She was there. And much later on whether Washington rain or Californian sun, it was weekly afternoon rendezvous and Sunday meals. I would come with root beer and flowers, and perhaps steal her away into my impossibly low seated Honda Civic to olive garden, keeping her out way past residence curfew. And she would be there to listen, her hard working hands transformed into beautiful oak tree roots folded in her lap. And I was there to hear her reply, “grandma tell me about the day you first met grandpa” tell me about what it was like when you were growing up” “tell me all the things, I’ll never get to know of otherwise if you should pass away. And here we are.
I know why we got along so well – she was a woman out for adventure, out for the opportunity to learn, an observer and caregiver, a critical but compassionate thinker. She was live and let live, a dinner napkin of wisdom. She was collecting experiences and sharing her life along the way with all of us. I cannot imagine anyone fitting more to the embodiment and idea of sister, mother, grandmother and I will never forget or take for granted what having her in my life has meant to me.