The tale of the hats
I keep my great grandfather's cowboy hat on display in my home. Its a 4x Beaver Felt, Silver Belly Resistol that he had special ordered from an old boot shop in Beeville, Tx. The brim is shorter and flatter than most cowboy hats allowing it to perform it's primary function, keeping the sun and rain off of you, but it also stayed out of your field of vision. This is a hat for someone who needs to take in the big picture and make decisions at the right time.
Now, Ive always had a slower way of going through life. I don't like to rush into things and I never force a situation. I prefer to wait, allow opportunities to develop and act when I am ready. I didn't realize it when I was younger but thats why I always loved that old cowboy hat, it allowed me to watch, wait and allow life to work out naturally.
As a winemaker, I strive to make wine the same way. Like that old hat I get the job done but stay out of the way as much as possible. I've learned to have the patience it takes to wait and let the wines develop their own character. I never set out to make a certain style of wine. Instead, I prefer to start by finding a grower that I really respect or a site that just calls out to me. Harvest usually follows suit. I like the fruit to get as much hang time as possible so Im usually forced by weather or other natural forces to call the pick. After that I just keep waiting for the wines to reveal themselves. Maybe during fermentation I get a sense of where I want to go or maybe during aging. But often times I just help the wine get to where its going.
That old cowboy hat is too worn and weathered for me to wear to work anymore but I needed that reminder when I started this winery. In the old silk lining I found the original special order card with all the specifications my great grandfather had asked for. I took that card and had another hat made with a short flat brim in hopes that I would remember to just watch and wait for the right time to act.