Musings on Wine, Dionysian Mysteries, Esoteric Viticulture, and Enology.
gnosis: “knowledge of spiritual mysteries”
vinosus: “fond of wine, having the flavor of wine”
in vino veritas.
My grandfather used to make wine in his basement. He would craft his wines from a variety of fruit that was native to his area of Pennsylvania – wild blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, cherries, and even rhubarb. Even though I was young, he always let me have a taste (when he thought my parents weren’t looking). Years later, my family made the acquaintance of Hans-Joachim Steifensand, the (at the time), managing director of P.J. Valckenberg Weinhandelshaus, in Worms am Rhein, Germany. He hosted my parents on a week-long tour of Worms and surrounding areas. They returned with several bottles, and enough information to provide me with a rudimentary education on German wine, though I was too young to do anything meaningful with it.
As I grew older, any interest I had in wine faded. I retained some terminology, like Spätlese, but wine didn’t re-enter my life in a meaningful way until 2014, when I was recruited by a large winery and relocated to Sonoma County, CA. Prior to this, the entire wine “lifestyle” (as it seemed), was alien and uninteresting to me. There were too many types of wines – none of which I felt like spending any money on. Settling into my new life, I started to learn not only about my new employers, but winemaking, and the industry itself.
Many people are called to wine country. Some are summoned. You don’t choose this. The grapes choose you.
Vi(g)nosis is an attempt to find the common threads in my interests: esotericism, spirituality, an increasing fascination with nature, wine, winemaking, viticulture, and the domestication of humanity by flora – specifically, vitis vinifera.