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Posts Tagged ‘purpose’

Passion on the Vine – a review

Tuesday, August 12th, 2008

When one looks at a vineyard – you’re not looking at it in the same way as you would look at an orange orchard. Instead one sees a multitude of experiences past and of moments yet to come – moments of intimacy, memorable occasions, conversations and treasured friendships. Since time immemorial, vineyards have not only been the touchstone of certain regions, but have often been the lifeblood of local communities and the cornerstone of entire generations of families. Every vineyard contains a family, a , a and a . This was at least, the sentiment I had before embarking on a mission to City, where I would promote and sell ’s connected to my family in some ways, and more importantly – from my country. During that time – having spent much time in for the mission, I left with those stories and sentiments of and family fresh in my blood. But with every -call and wine I began to feel further and further from the vineyard. Soon it was about laid in cost, case-discounts and what kind of Point of Sale material was on offer. I travelled the country in a rental car with a case of wine, a corskrew and a -point presentation along the way having people from Westchester Wine Warehouse cruelly spit wine on my shoe after having left me waiting for an hour, sitting in cold-rooms of cellars in Maryland, helping do stock-takes in Ohio, presenting to Wholefoods buyers in North Carolina and pushing on-premise retail in : and with every step I became a bit more confused and lost the focus of what I was doing. Having believed that wine was so important to my country and stepping into the States to tell the story of South African wine, it was very dispiriting to suddenly be faced with the fact that no one really cared so long as they could make a profit.


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Medicine, Jimmy Carter, Rockstar wine makers and Arizona wine… all in a day’s post

Tuesday, February 20th, 2007

Caduceus The international symbol for medicine, otherwise known as Caduceus is a sword with a snake wound round it. You may not know this but the sword is in fact a lance and the snake is a worm. In more rural settings, the method of getting rid of parasites is to lance the skin, and the parasite winds out around the lance. If you look at the symbol again, you will see that the sword is actually longer than the “snake” indicating the triumph of medical science over cruel nature. Now you may find this slightly irrelevant, but just look at the NY Times video feeds of the day and you can see a man that I greatly respect, Jimmy Carter, 82 years old, who after his presidency decided to tackle disease in Africa.

Watch this NY Times Video-Blog on Carter in Ethiopia.

Amazingly enough, the ancient symbol of medicine is based on a disease that still exists today, draculanisis or more commonly known as ‘Guinea Worm.’ This disease is found in ancient scriptures, is depicted in hieroglyphics and is thought to have plagued the Israelites in their journey across the desert. Since President Carter put eradicating it on his agenda, the instances of the disease have gone from being in the hundreds of thousands down to just over ten thousand. To more about Guinea Worm, go here.

Carter speaks about how when he grew up in Georgia as a child, many of the diseases that he is tackling in Africa right now, were prevalent in the United States. But with the right focus, these diseases can be completely eradicated. Carter was the first President to put Human Rights issues on the agenda, and he points out that human rights means that we have a right to a decent life and to be free from disease; and so he has committed himself to fighting a war against disease. In an age when certain ex-presidents like George Bush Sr. and little GB Jr. request 100 Billion Dollars of taxpayers money to perpetuate misery in Iraq and diversify into Iran; for less than a hundredth of the cost, instead of destroying lives by fighting wars on our own kind, millions of lives could be saved by fighting a war against disease to save our own kind. And in this way, the US can foster an ethic of care, as opposed to an ethic of tyranny.

So quite recently, some and I have been looking at the industry, and part of it has been to try getting a feel for the industry on a global scale. We have tried to do this in part by looking at all the around the world. In our research we have learned that there are over 60 wine producing countries in the world. This was not that surprising to me, considering wine’s formidable background and importance in human civilization. What was, however, surprising was the number of in the USA. Would you have guessed that of all the 50 States, every single one of them has wine producing vineyard? I find that just incredible, because not every state has a major-league baseball team. But if you were to look at the wine industry in the United States, at first glance you wouldn’t perhaps guess that wine-making was more widespread than major-league baseball teams, country musicians, Republicans, Democrats, Breweries or the amount of states Southern is in… out of all of these, no matter on what scale, wine is more widespread.

I’ve had wine from Maryland and have shared some wine from Georgia over dinner, but there are some States that it just seems improbable for wine to be growing in. Arizona for example… who would have thought that wine grows in Arizona besides the people who grow it there and the people living around the vineyard?

But what’s more surprising than the fact that wine grows in Arizona, is the man behind the vineyard: Maynard James Keenan, the lead singer of the progressive rock band so worshiped by Australian and New Zealand fans: Tool. And where this ties in today’s post is that the singer’s wine is called Caduceus… website www.caduceus.org, sharing the name with the symbol for medicine.

caduceus.jpgOn the most recent blog post you find a post by the rockstar where he writes about arriving in Sydney on his way to the Big Day Out, which is Australia’s biggest festival, and attracts acts as big as Ozzy, Roger Waters, Muse, Incubus and of course, Tool. Keenan writes about coming off the plane, bumping into some people from the Roger Waters tour, and going out to dinner that evening at a Sydney and drinking Penfolds Reserve Bin 98A Chardonnay and eating sea-scallops with them.

Keenan’s wine is available to buy online right now, and I plan to order some myself and write a post on it. This whole of direct shipping is just great in this regard: with all caduceus2.bmp50 States producing wines, and over 60 countries doing the same, the forecast for the diversity of my wine education seems promising!

If you want to order their wine, go to https://vino.caduceus.org/

However, I wont be able to get the wine just for the moment, because I can only order it if I live in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Ohio, Texas, Washington and West Virginia. So, being a resident currently in London leaves me a bit off the list, which is a pity. But if you do live in these states its best you hurry, because the wine is running out fast. Does anyone know how I can get around the shipping laws so I can get a bottle?

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Posted in Culture, Music, Wine | No Comments »

Save the World: Drink Wine

Saturday, October 14th, 2006

Wine 11
Why would anyone of the generation take time to contemplate the magical significance of ? A great question, which, if reader will allow, will be answered in the following sentences:

Wine is profoundly important in a way most of us can’t imagine. Reasons being: wine inhabits the same realm as literature and art. Literature and art are the only two things that separate man from beast. Literature and art save mankind from destruction and brutality, think that whenever a fascist regime comes to first they outlaw the writers and the poets, and from there all other personal liberties crumble. The artist and the writer are the people who set us free and by implication, wine, being in the same realm as art and literature, is also an agent of freedom. Think of it this way, Budweiser and Miller represent corporate hegemony, whilst wine represents the individual and old-fashioned craftsmanship. One has to ask whether they would prefer a that was ruled by mass markets and homogenized products; or whether they prefer an old-fashioned, time-honoured ritual that provides unique flavours free to be sought after and consumed by the individual that is so inclined.

Think about it, literature and art (and wine) are the only aspects existing in mankind (more…)

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Posted in Art, Culture, Family, Lifestyle, Music, News, Passion, Travel, Wine, Wine/11 | 9 Comments »