"Since we move in time through a sequence of spaces, we experience a space in relation to where we’ve been to where we anticipate going" ~ Ching
I love this time of the year. New beginnings. New horizons. Old things have passed away.
Walking through the vineyards this time of the year actually brings a soothing to my soul. Walking the narrow rows of young living vines during the early morning hours can be quite peaceful. The sun not opening it's eyes yet as I quietly stroll through the rows of pruned vines. The dew still on the ground and the fog merging with the sweet smells around me. The rows tend to disappear into the fog. The vines are quiet and still, standing at attention as if their commander in chief had just walked by for inspection. All I can hear is the sound of my own breathing. I start to sing. Music soothes my soul.
I begin to think about the vines. What struggles have they gone through...their souls cut back to bare minimum. They are starting over. New beginnings are about to emerge. What is in store for them this year? The vines will soon bud again and new fruit will spring forth.
Much like our own lives, we need new beginnings. We need a new start. Take a walk through the rows of your life and see the new horizons ahead of you...look closely through the fog...it's there. It will emerge. New fruit will soon spring forth...start singing. Be encouraged...
"I awoke this morning with devout thanksgiving for my friends,
the old and new."
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
It's the day after Thanksgiving and all is well. I have been reflecting back on this past year and thinking how thankful I am. Thankful...what exactly does that mean? Being thankful doesn't have to be something we feel, it can also be something we do. We should never run out of things we are thankful or grateful for.
Each day this week, I posted photos of "thankful for us" on Facebook. I am surrounded by loving friends and family. "I am Thankful."
I hope this Thanksgiving as you sat around the table with family and friends, you talked about what you were thankful for to each other.
What am I thankful for? There are not enough days to share it all. One thing I do know...I am thankful for you.
I hope you're ready for holiday cookies!!!
The holidays are right around the corner. I am in the baking mood so I wanted to share a special recipe with you that I posted in 2009...it has since evolved into Passaggio Passionistas Biscotti
Let's get started.
Passaggio Passionistas Biscotti
The Biscotti cookie was traditionally made for dunking in wine. (but you can dunk it in whatever you like)
1/2 cup whole almonds
1/3 cup butter (I use lightly salted)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
2 teaspoons of lemon zest
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons reduced Passaggio Unoaked Chardonnay
Preheat oven to 325 degrees
Place almonds in shallow pan - bake until golden brown (usually about 8-10min) Let cool.
Reduce about 1 cup of Passaggio Unoaked Chardonnay - set aside to cool
In mixing bowl cream your butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in eggs, vanilla, almond extract and lemon zest. Add your reduced Passaggio Unoaked Chardonnay. In another bowl combine the flour, baking powder, nutmeg and salt. Add this to your cream mixture until blended. Cut your almonds into halves or thirds and fold into mixture.
Divide your dough in half and place on greased and floured baking sheet. Using floured hands, shape the dough into logs about 1/2 inch thick, about 1 1/2 inched wide and 12 inches long. Place pan on middle rack and bake for about 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
Take logs and place on rack to cool for about 5 minutes. Using a serrated knife slice diagonally (45 degree angle) about 1/2 inch thick. Lay your cookies flat on the baking pan and place back in the oven for about 10 minutes (watch closely) turning them once. Remove from oven and place on rack to cool.
This recipe usually makes about 3 dozen cookies. I store mine in a cookie tin.
I like dipping mine in a glass of Passaggio Unoaked Chardonnay. You may find them delightful dipped in a cup of coffee, hot chocolate, or even with champagne. Sit back, relax, and share with friends...
As I look back over the course of this remarkable journey of Passaggio Wines, I am amazed at the number of people who have been involved in the making of an awesome wine company. What a journey! Starting in 2007, with just fifty cases of Unoaked Chardonnay, has grown to over 1100 cases in 2015.
I want to give a shout out to all those who have lifted me up in hard times, lent a helping hand when I needed it, listened to me vent and sigh from time to time, and encouraged me. I could not have done this without all of you.
We have done it! We have grown Passaggio Wines into what it is today. We now have our own production facility. Today, we continue that journey with the first fruit being brought in to the new winery. The 2016 Harvest starts off with Pinot Grigio from Sonoma Coast.
So...it is with heartfelt gratitude that I thank you. You have helped make my dream come true.
Happy Harvest 2016!!
Harvest is upon us. I have tucked the 2015 barrels away and got started on cleaning everthing (with the help of my good friend, Linda Yee)
Having my own space has been freeing and exhilarating. And at the same time, exhausting. I can't wait to bring in the 2016 harvest to the Passaggio Winery! What fun this is going to be...
Stay tuned for more!! Hang on to your hats...this is going to be a great ride!!
It all starts with a dream and a belief that you can achieve whatever it is you have set out to do. When I first launched Passaggio Wines in 2007, I had no idea that I would one day have my own winery. Sometimes when you are following your dream, other things come your way as you are on your journey.
I met Steve Law, owner and winemaker of MacLaren Wines, when I moved into the Passaggio Tasting room two years ago. We became great friends and share a common theme. Wine Making. We both have that same passion. We are wine geeks to say the least.
Steve and I decided late last year to join our resources and build our own production facility. We both knew this would be a rough ride but we persevered and now the time has come. We will be in the winery for harvest 2016.
I am delighted and excited to start this new adventure with my friend. This new chapter starts now....stay tuned for more of our journey!
Summer is finally here. The garden is growing and the deck is ready for comany. The evenings are beautiful and the days are longer. I love Sonoma. The community is generous, caring, and just simple. Living the simple life is what I strive for. There's nothing like meeting your friends at the Sonoma Farmer's market every Tuesday evening. Listening to the band play, sitting on a blanket, sipping a great glass of wine. Relax. Have fun. Contemplate.
I participated in the launch of #winestudio Sonoma Rosé Revolution. It's a Twitter chat, every Tuesday evening, from 6-7pst in June. Talking with a community of wine lovers across the country can be amazingly engaging, and fun. They launched this past Tuesday with my 2015 Passaggio Merlot Rosé. What fun! But yet informative. Rosé, not always taken seriously, should be. This wine can be fun and serious at the same time. I believe it is a very versatile wine. Pairs with all sorts of food or just simply sipping on your deck with friends.
Start your summer off this year with some Rosé. Whichever rosé you choose, look at it from s different perspective. The winemaker took special care to make it. Enjoy it. Embrace it.
Is it worth it to ask all of you to comment on “do you find or look for handcrafted, small lot wines?” It is worth it to me!!!
I jumped into the wine industry with a passion. Doesn’t everyone? Wine can be such a luring, compelling, sexy, passionate drink. There are so many wines out there to try. Who isn’t on the hunt for great wines at a great price these days? Who doesn’t like finding those small gems that are tucked away in the crevices of the Wine Industry?
I am on the hunt for you…people who are passionate about wine. I am looking for people who believe in finding special wine that is unique and often not heard of…wine that is made with passion…wine that brings life to your table, and wine you enjoy sharing with your friends and family. I am on the hunt for those who want to be part of something special.
Yes…I am on the hunt for you!!!
I want to share my passion with you.
Why do other bloggers write about Following Your Passion as "crappy advice?" If you Google "Follow Your Passion" you will find many articles on why it's the wrong thing to do or why it's crappy advice. Maybe we are missing the whole point. There are two articles I found that I would like to comment on.
Article #1 - the minimalist
In one of the questions in this article they talk about Steve Jobs and a speech Steve made at his Stanford Commencement address. He told students (paraphrasing) "You’ve got to find what you love, don’t settle." The writer goes on to say that if you go back and read the social media and press that surrounded that event people took him to say "follow your passion" The writer also says if you read Steve's biography it is not what he did. His passion at the time was eastern mysticism and that he stumbled into Apple computer to try and make a quick buck. I did find more of Steve Jobs quote during this speech which was not in this article. He also said "the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking."
Article #2 - dilbert.com the scott adams blog
This writer of this article clearly does not get what following your passion is all about. He says "...Passion sounds more accessible. If you're dumb, there is not much you can do about it, but passion is something we think anyone can generate in the right circumstances. Passion feels very democratic. It is the people's talent, available to all. It's also mostly bullshit. Consider two entrepreneurs. Everything else being equal, one is passionate and possess average talent, while the other is exceedingly brilliant, full of energy, and highly determined to succeed. Which one do you bet on?" This writer gives us an example of when he was a loan officer. His boss taught him that it was not good practice to loan money to someone who was following their passion. The example he gave was "you don't give money to a sports enthusiast who wants to open a sports store to pursue his passion for all things sporty. That guy is a bad bet, passion and all. He's in business for the wrong reason."
First of all how do we define success in our lives? What do you consider successful? Are you successful? How do you define passion? What do you consider passion? What are you passionate about? Do you follow your passion? Do success and passion go together?
Success - I believe success is a personal achievement. It's something that we make ourselves. It is about the lives we touch every day in our own communities. It is about respect. It is about love. It is a personal journey.
Passion - I believe passion is inside each of us. It's an intense emotion that keeps us moving forward. Our passions are what drive us. Whether the passion is something we do as a hobby or something we do as a career...it drives us. Whether the passion is something we use to help others or we use to further ourselves...it drives us.
How do we define the mother who wants to stay home and raise her children? Success or failure? Can we put a monetary value on her choice? Can she pursue other passions and still be a stay at home mom? Of course she can. Can you be successful in your career like Steve Jobs and still pursue other passions? Of course you can.
Sometimes, like Steve Jobs, what we call successful careers are handed to us while we are pursuing other passions. Does that mean we are not following our passion? Do we consider "following our passion" a scale for career? I hope not. We can be "successful" in our careers, enjoy our jobs, and make a good living. Our passion do not have to dictate or define what we do for a living or where we work. We cultivate the passion in our lives each and every day. Life is about the never ending pursuit of happiness. We learn and grow. I believe Steve Jobs was right in his quote " ...if you haven't found it yet, keep looking."
The person who walk into a bank to ask for a loan because he or she wants to start a business based on "following their passion" should be given the same opportunity as that person who walks into the bank to get a car loan. The main reason you give that person a loan is because they have the means to pay it back. Their business plan is one that is well thought out and one that can be proven on paper. It's the passion that drives that person to make it work. Just because a person may fail at their business does not mean they were a risk because they were following their passion.
We must not put passion and success in a nice square box with a bow on top. We all define them differently. We all reach our life's goals differently. We all touch others lives differently. We all succeed differently.
Our lives change and so do we...
These are some of my thoughts on the Habits of Highly Effective Winemakers – I would love to hear some of yours!!
1) Keep a notebook – write it down: these days, when you say notebook, you could be talking about a couple of things. A notebook to me is the one with paper in it. A notebook to someone quite younger may be a Mac Pro or even your Iphone. Either one is great for keeping notes. You may think you’ll remember something, but in my experience, I always forgot what I wanted so much to remember.
2) Taste, Taste, Taste – yeah, I know it’s a great job…but someone has to do it…LOL Tasting the juice all the way from fermentation through aging is a must. (no pun intended) So don’t be surprised when the winemaker comes to your house and asks for a beer…
3) Stay up on new research, new technology, and new equipment – Things change every day. Modern technology is changing very quickly and we need to keep up with it. We should never be afraid to try new things.
4) Never be afraid to ask – we don't know it all.
5) Source great fruit – in all starts in the vineyard.
6) Stay focused – enough said about that ;-)
7) Have fun – I have always said that if the winemaker is not happy, they will not produce good wine…