Advice is given to use by many people in our lives. Our parents, our teachers, our mentors, friends and strangers can share a few words that can impact us for ever. Perhaps these are words we heed on a daily basis or we try to integrate into our lifestyle. What advice do you carry with you? In my recent column in the Napa Valley Register I shared some of the advice that winemakers have shared with me when interviewing them for the Wine Soundtrack podcast. Perhaps you have been given some of the same advice or perhaps some of these words will inspire you. Either way, may this be a wonderful new year!
When I was a little girl, my mom said something to me that I would never forget. I was nervous about going to a party and whether I would know people and have fun. She told me that you make your own good time. I could go with a negative attitude and would likely not have fun. Or I could go with a positive attitude and see what would happen.
This advice is something that I have carried with me throughout my life, and I approach everything I do with a positive attitude and an open mind.
I have the good fortune of meeting lots of winemakers. I have met some of the icons in the industry, people who helped establish their regions and set trends. But, when I was in the Willamette Valley as part of the Wine Writers Educational Tour, we attended a seminar with the Willamette Valley wine pioneers. This was not just a discussion of the people or a tasting of their wines but they, the original wine pioneers of the Willamette Valley, were there. It was not lost on me how legendary this panel was. These are the people who built the Willamette Valley and they shared their stories which I wrote about in the Napa Valley Register and you can read here.
“It takes a village to raise a child. This is my village and I am the kid,” declared Jason Lett as he welcomed a group of wine writers to the Willamette Valley in Oregon. Jason’s father, David Lett, first saw the potential of Pinot Noir in Oregon.
A Utah native, David Lett moved to San Francisco for dental school in 1963 and was introduced to Napa Valley. He decided instead to study viticulture at UC Davis and after graduating, he moved to Oregon. According to Willamette Valley Wine, Pinot Noir was the first post-Prohibition vitis vinifera variety planted in the north Willamette Valley and the reason Lett came to Oregon. After studying the geography and climate of western Oregon, he had an idea of what would do well in the cool climate. Lett planted his vines in the Dundee Hills, establishing the Eyrie Vineyard, and produced his first wine in 1970.
As Jason spoke about his father, he sat alongside Richard and Nancy Ponzi, David Adelsheim, Harry Peterson-Nedry and Susan Sokol-Blosser.