Blind Tasting in The Southern Hemisphere: Winemaker CP Lin

“If Being Blind Made Me A Better Winemaker, Then There Would Be More Chefs And Winemakers Who Are Blind. Where Are They Hiding? I Have A Good Palate Because I Was Born With It. I Have A Good Sense Of Smell. Don’t Assume It’s Because I Am Blind.”

YES, A BLIND WINEMAKER. You might be thinking about the challenges he faces to make wine without seeing or maybe that he has a better palate than most because he is compensating for his lack of sight. But CP is a highly accomplished and talented individual, with or without the ability to see.

CP was always a curious child, and this has continued into adulthood. “I taste all sorts of things. Other blind people don’t do the same as I do. If they can’t see it, they won’t try,” he says. While walking through the vineyard to taste if the grapes were ready for harvest this year, he grabs a bunch of grapes and puts the entire bunch in his mouth (grapes, seeds, and stems) and chews. TASTING THE STEMS, AS WELL AS TASTING THE SOIL, ENABLES CP TO UNDERSTAND WHERE THE GRAPES ARE IN THEIR DEVELOPMENT AND WHERE THEY ARE GOING. He is able to learn something about the grapes that one cannot see — and sighted winemakers also embrace this technique of tasting the soil and grape stems.

Read the full story from DrinkMeMag October 2012