Restraint and Discipline

The first time I peered into that ground glass viewfinder, I was hooked. It was a twin lens reflex camera – I think a Yashica or a Rollieflex – but everything looked sharper and more organized when I viewed the world through that two and a quarter inch square…perhaps because I didn’t yet know I needed glasses!

My little high school on the central California coast came equipped with a neglected darkroom and a few old cameras in a closet-like corner of the Home Ec. classroom. Once I showed interest, I had free reign and I owned that closet for the next four years.

Yes, I was that geek, omnipresent at every event, camera dangling from my pencil neck, taking pictures for the school newspaper and yearbook. That camera was power. With it, I could excuse myself from class to cover anything I deemed newsworthy and insert myself into any activity or meet any person. I loved it. I quickly embraced the concept of the decisive moment and I would lie in wait for the peak in action and emotion to reveal itself in my little square so I could press that shutter as if I were squeezing off a round.

With only 12 exposures to a roll of film and a clumsy reloading method, every shot had to count. I needed restraint and discipline and had to see everything in the frame, not just the subject, and know when something would ruin an otherwise perfect shot. I learned when not to shoot and I learned that what I left out of the frame was as important as what was left in, a lesson that continues to pay off to this day.

With approximately 200 acres of vines, editing is important. We could just throw everything together but that would be like a messy snapshot of a wine. Instead, each cuvée is a precise composition that is edited in a series of tastings until each wine tells a story of time and place. Of the blended reds, Libration is the most open and gregarious, POV is lush and ready for the table, Marcien is studied and serious – a classic wine that evolves over time.

Marcien is probably the toughest wine to edit. It requires restraint. Each lot of wine is analyzed by taste and character. Only the most structured and the most likely to evolve selections make it into Marcien. Oh, there’s always the temptation to make more, but that might ruin the shot. Like squeezing off a frame with an old camera, we only have one chance to get it right and Marcien is the best shot of the vintage.

Rob Sinskey