Happy New Year! We just left the cellar, sniffing, tasting, listening, and stirring one last time in 2016. The ‘16 vintage is coming around nicely. The Sauvignon Blanc and Rosé are developing the flavors and weight that characterize the Dodon site. They’ll be ready for bottling March. The Chardonnay has finished themalolactic fermentation and is settling in for its year-long elévage. The primary fermentations (the conversion of sugar to alcohol) are yet to finish in the reds, but the familiar snap, crackle, pop from the bung hole prove the yeast are still working.
The rest of the team has been off the past week to spend time with their families after the bustle of the season. The quiet and calm of the cellar, and the repetitive task of stirring each barrel is the perfect time to reflect on why we make wine. It is a challenging and humbling job. While the seasonal rhythms are comforting, nature is a powerful force and dictates the timeline. There are no choices; we have to be ready for each season. Learning to live in harmony and balance with nature’s forces will take a lifetime, and it’s not something we will ever fully understand.
Why do we do it? Well, we love the challenge of learning to live with nature. But mostly we appreciate the connections with people. We’ve made many new friends this year. The diversity of our wine club members is stunning – scientists, diplomats, business people, environmentalists, farmers, musicians, even an archeologist who has restored a winery that is more than 4000 years old. And our Dodon team is growing as we increase production. Regina Mc Carthy (and her family) joined Dodon this year as the Director of Client Services; Steve Blais from Pomerol became our new consulting winemaker; and we hired a new vineyard associate, Mario Amaya-Rubio. Two newborns- Roberto’s daughter, Jacabeth, and Nick’s daughter, Lois – are of course the best of the ‘16 vintage. Each child reminds us that we are simply stewards, not owners, of land borrowed from the next generation. Good wine brings us together to talk, to learn, and to understand, all while enjoying the beauty that nature gives us. This is what wine does best.
We are thankful for the opportunity to make wine for you, we are grateful to all who have joined us at Dodon over the past year, and we very much look forward to spending 2017 with you.
All the best for the new year.