I ran into it almost by mistake, with my former wife. We got sucked into it and entranced by it. And then it took over our lives, in the best of ways!
After making wine one year in Oregon, I felt I needed to learn the secrets of making great Pinot noir and could only learn those in Burgundy, because Pinot noir comes from there. Of course there weren’t any secrets. It was… the place.
During harvest, we’ve had interns from all over the world. We feed them and put them up just as if we were in Burgundy and they were doing the same thing. I think the idea of exposing the world – one person at a time – to our winery is something I obviously did learn in Burgundy.
It’s a place that’s unreplicated; it’s a Unesco World Heritage site because it’s the only one of its kind. And it is the reference that anyone who knows about wine points to for a certain style and a certain grape variety. And there is no other reference like that.
It’s me visiting with a lot of friends that I’ve met over the years and also the connections between who they are and what they do and the wines of Burgundy and what I am and what I do and the wines of Oregon. It’s an opportunity for others to come along and be a part of that experience and create their own relationships with this pretty amazing place in the world.
I suspect it will be who the people of Burgundy are, and the common interests they have with the people in Oregon. Not just the wine business. It comes down to a certain humanity people share regardless of where they are. And I think that may be the biggest takeaway of any travel…