I've been meaning to say something about a blog I found some time ago (can it really be over a year?) but somehow I never knew how to put it correctly so I didn't, and now I feel guilty.
I feel guilty because Rob (that's him, not me) has a unique voice in wine blogging and I think we could all do with a dose of this reality.
So many blogs, including this one, dwell only on the consumption of wine. We agonise over how to rate a wine, how to share the drinking experience, where to spend our money, and maybe a little about those trips out to vineyards and to meet winemakers.
For most of us, that is our relationship with wine - as consumers.
There is a separate breed. Blogging winemakers. They know a lot more about the process of making wine and the real effort that goes into making those bottles we gratefully, or otherwise, consume and critique. But even these blogs are often removed from the toil of the everyday effort involved in running a vineyard.
How might we ensure we do not forget that wine truly is an agricultural product, a product of nature, sweat and toil? Read this blog!
http://winefarmer.wordpress.com - Winefarmer's Weblog
Rob manages to convey some of the reality of working in the vineyard. It isn't a straight diary and it isn't philosophical musings. What it is, is the honest, uninhibited thoughts of an obviously very intelligent and creative human being who likes working with nature.
I admit to not being a particularly well read individual, so I probably shouldn't compare his style to other authors, but to me at least, there are echoes of John Steinbeck in his writing.
He covers organic farming, vineyard working practices, cultural issues he faces working alongside largely Mexican labourers, the tragedies of manual labour (some are very sad - read to the last section), and even astrology, astronomy and nature.
I urge you to take a look and subscribe. He doesn't update it very regularly (who am I to fault that?) so it won't overload your daily reading, but maybe help to give all the rest some context.