Lifestyle blog about wine and art.
wine, modern art, photography, writing
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Ok. I have to admit: I wanted to write about something else. Everything has changed this morning at 6 pm. Bing! Message. From Him. Click. Open. Photo. I’ve looked at this pic for a little while. Then closed my eyes.

Yes, I am there. Standing with Him. Seeing that sparkle of the sun on the rocks. Smelling that scent… I am wrapped by that morning fog… I am only a little particle in the surrounding landscape… Stunning place… Sedona…

Sedona is located in Arizona, close to the Grand Canyon. Surrounded by the enormous amount of red rocks cut by deep ravines. Nature – this word is coming to my head first. Nature that describes terms also for winemakers. It determines what, how, and where to grow and it is always first. It provides the main data. The solution depends on a man’s ideas but nature is the base. Some varieties require particular conditions – weather and soil – and they don’t grow well in all places. That’s why Germany is famous of Riesling and Sicily is known of Nero d’Avola.

Once again I view the photo shot far away at the dawn… The sun shows up from behind the rocks – some of them still are in a darkness, the others look like squat golden statues… What if a winemaker saw such hills? Where would he grow his vines? Which slopes would he choose?

Three days ago I was talking with my friend from Languedoc, wine producer, who moved there from Bordeaux. In cool regions, the southern slopes are the most precious gems. The best grapes come from exactly such places. In the hot south of France, the sun and the warmth are sometimes a curse, so the highest prices are paid for vineyards, where the sun is visible for a short time in the morning or in the evening. This provides steady maturing, without overheating grapes and decreasing their quality.

Illuminated rocks of Sedona remind me of the Rhone Valley with its stony soils. Millions of pebbles warm up during the day and at nights they generously give their heat to the vine roots. This natural “radiator” has been copied and used by many others winemakers from all over the world, bringing piles of stones to their vineyards and placing them along the vines hedges.

I look at the colors of stone Arizona giants, painted by the morning sun. From the light sparkling gold, through honey ambers and Sardinian ochre, to darkened reds and browns, associating with a land around Valencia or Mallorca soils. A full palette of the wine hues. Golden Sauternes, amber Marsala, matured red Burgundies and Ports. And the symbol of white wine’s life: from light, yellow hues in a youth to the browns after years. First at the top, then going slowly down – though each stage has its own beauty. Like our lives…

But what if we went in the opposite direction? Climbing the rocks from the bottom – from the browns to the pure gold of Fort Knox bars? It is exactly like creating one of the most expensive wines in the world: Château d’Yquem. Precisely selected grapes, treated by Botrytis cinerea – “Noble rot”, collected several times in one long harvest, are pressed slowly. The first product we get is the brown, thick liniment with a consistency of the dense preserves. In the end, though it forms into stunning heavenly sweetness perfectly balanced with an acidity and alcohol. Gaining the heavenly prices at auctions too.

Sedona on the photo wakes up from the dreams… Gentle and delicate scarves of the fog slowly move between the rocks, reminding me of the vineyards in Bordeaux… Warm days with the sun reaching every shrub and cool nights bringing the balls of moisture into the vineyard. Bordeaux fogs on the other side of the ocean? Maybe it’s only my imagination… The wind will clean the sky in Arizona soon…

And how does Sedona smell at the dawn? The stones, the rocks, the sky – I take out the moments spent in Spain from my mind. The landscape of Alicante, Valencia, Jumilla – the same pictures. Being there I thought I had come to the European Arizona: red soil, cactuses, vineyards looking like fields of exhausted bushes in a prairie. Dried rivers and mountain ranges in the distance. The air smelled with a ripened Monastrell and Bobal, a delicious thinly sliced jamon, hard matured Spanish cheese and fresh fig preserves.


I close my eyes for the last time…

Morning. Complete silence.

Yet, using words of Ramon Gomez de la Serna, “A woman can hear with her nape the thoughts of a man standing behind.”

So maybe the silence is not complete at all…