As wine connoisseurship evolves, I look toward developing ways to express the aspects of wine I love the most. I recognize that wine is a product of nature and science; my goal is as natural as can be: to help make the connection between joy of taste and the bountiful pleasures of life.”

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

did you say hydroponic wine ?

When I was a youngster I remember that my dad used to be pals with this guy that was alleged to be the founder of those glow sticks that they sell now just before Halloween and in home Depot check out lanes. He told me at the time that he had invented this really cool thing and that one day they would be used all over the world. I was enamored with the idea of that strange substance confined to a translucent tube, thrilled with the way you were supposed to bend it till it cracked and ultimately enthused about how once it cracked and it was shaken about, it began to glow like alien juice or something you might expect that Nasa would use on a remote space station. Well, this guy with his Cylum light stick invention was also an alfalfa sprout farmer. I’m not sure that he wasn’t actually farming something else also, but for the sake of legality so to not indirectly incriminate my own father, let’s just say that his house was essentially a massive metal walled garage with aisles of knee level hydroponic beds bubbling away. Each bed had several lights above it and the whole room smelled of fertilizer and something green,…very green. I suppose my dad liked sprouts.

Anyhow, so as the theory goes, if vine roots attached to the vines that produce the best fruit for the best wines in the world are said to have their tentacle like subterranean feelers on a constant quest for nutrients and water, than its fair to say that when we begin to grow grapes like they Cylum guy did his Alfalfa sprouts we mustn’t be surprised when the wines are no good. Right?

Grape vines don’t mind being hydroponically fed , in fact, like all other plants and animals for that matter, the thought that everything you need for ultimate happiness and prosperity is within arms reach at any time…like an “on demand” convenience is probably pretty appealing. Alright, so here is the problem, if conventional agriculture has its way, we destroy soils through a myriad of chemical applications, and a regime that eventually renders the soils and the vineyard helpless and entirely reliant upon anti-fungals, herbicides, pesticides and of course fertilizers that replace all that was once there.

Through this methodology, the soils behave much like the bubbling laboratory tray like beds the guy was using to grow alfalfa way back when. The nutrients are sprayed or added to irrigation and the roots, like someone you know, just sit back, watch another episode on Tivo and keep that bag of king sized lays barbeque chips within reach. In this instance you get fat, and become a disconnected, sleepwalking tort slob and the vines, well, the vines just begin the robotic cycle of production. Walking to the kitchen to eat instead of sitting on the couch, or better yet, going outside with a gun, shooting a small animal, cooking it and eating it will make you look younger, keep you spry , improve your sex life, add glow to your smile and so on and so on …

So, the next time you go to the merchant to buy a bottle of wine, ask the salesperson,
… “were the grapes used to make this wine farmed organically? “ if the answer is no, well then, id suggest you go and get your gun.

1 comment:

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