One morning last week I attended my first meeting as a Garden Club member, where I received a nametag with a sunflower sticker on it to designate me as “new” and a beautiful floral face covering made by one of the other members. The gathering took place outdoors on a patio at a local vineyard/winery and began with a presentation by the founder and owner of the vineyard, who talked to us a bit about her journey to now and some of what she’s learned about growing grapes and making wine. While she spoke, there were a few moments when I repeated her words in my mind a few times because the ideas, which just rang so true, transcend the topics of grapes and wine (not that those topics aren’t important. They ARE. But grapes are mostly important to me because, well, wine).
For instance, she said, “When we started out, we had questions like, ‘How do you make Merlot?’ and we learned that you don’t make Merlot; you grow Merlot.”
A little while later she told a story about having a viticulturist come in to answer why some of the Cabernet Sauvignon vines weren’t doing as well as their neighbors, why they seemed more susceptible to powdery mold, why they weren’t putting out healthy growth. When the expert took a look at the plants, she said, “Those aren’t Cabernet Sauvignon vines. Those are Pinot Noir. You’re treating them like Cabernet Sauvignon, but they need to be treated like Pinot Noir if you want them to grow well and produce.”
It was about then that I thought, “At what point did she stop talking about winemaking and start talking about parenting?”