I've crammed a lot into a day before, but not sure if I've ever done it on the scale that I did yesterday! Our vineyard tour small group Bible study went on our shortest tour to date. Really, we could have walked from Wednesday Wines to Remy Wines, but we took the bus. When I made the complicated schedule for myself I also greatly complicated the lives of my friends, Mike and Kathy Campbell. Kathy is my partner in the wine world. She can organize anything, and I deeply depend on her to bring my hair-brained ideas to detailed reality. The fact that she keeps coming through, and pulling my bacon out of the fire, just adds to the problem! I g
ot a call early Sunday morning from Remy saying that she has strep throat and can't make the tour, so we get Gretchen as our host for the afternoon. I've never been to Remy's new place before. I love it! It is a working winery, the machinery is in plain view. Gretchen, not knowing how to move the fork lift has turned it into a wine bar! We taste through a number of Remy's wines starting with her Pinot Blanc and it, like all of her wines is amazing. We carry Remy's alternate label, 3 Wives at our shop, and we sell a lot of it.
Remy began her life career at an early age. She began working in vineyards when she was 13 years old! A bit later in life she moved to Philadelphia and began work in a bakery. In the basement she made wine with "a bunch of Italian, mob-type characters" according to Gretchen. It was with these gentlemen that Remy found her focus of Italian varietals wines made with a hand's off style.
My favorite wine of the day was the '09 Sangiovese. It is sourced from the Horse Heaven Hills of Eastern Washington. I haven't tasted a wine from that region that I haven't liked, and I haven't tasted a wine of Remy's that I haven't liked as well. This one is deep and gorgeous with aroma of plums, earth and chocolate. We purchased a couple and they are going into my cellar. I thin that they will continue to age beautifully for a decade or more, but are very drinkable right this minute.
I weave a Bible study into our wine tasting. Sometimes I wonder if you should do a Bible study without a wine in your hand, but that might just be me. I select two Old Testament readings to share. One is the story from Genesis 35 where Moses finds artisans who can create the tent of the meeting. In the text it says that these artisans are filled with " divine spirit, with skill, intelligence and knowledge in every kind of craft." (Exodus 35: 31) These words describe Remy almost perfectly to me. We also read from Leviticus that wine was one of the elements required of the people when they made their offerings to God. If I've worked it out right you are suppose to bring a couple of bottles of wine to the priests when harvest comes around, and you are not to drink any yourself until you have made this gift. (I wish the members of my church would pick up on this!)
As soon as Gretchen has poured the last wine, I'm out the door and back over to the Granary District to get ready for the Occasional Quartet's CD Release Party. I'm sorry I'm talking so much about this place and the cob ove
n, and Jason, but it is such an amazing place. This party is the whole reason I got involved in the McMinnvile Public Market in the first place. Kathy Campbell has spent a couple of weeks now trying to get us organized, and it is no easy task! Right after church we started moving chairs, tables and staging materials over to the market. We impose on Jason Furch one more time to make pizzas for us, and they are beautiful works of art. I also think of Jason when I read the passage in Genesis about skilled artisans filled with divine spirit and every kind of skill. I think about that divine skill every Sunday when I lift up one of those still warm, crusty, be
autiful batard loaves from Red Fox Bakery that Jason or Laurie has made, lift it into the air and announce to the world, "This is the body of Christ." I lament the fact that our wines to not match up. I'm not so subtly prodding Remy to create a communion wine for McMinnville Cooperative Ministries. I think it would be fitting.
But back to the concert. It was an amazing time. To have so many good friends and folks from the community come out and enjoy awesome food, good wine and beer and our music was such a blessing to me. It's Father's Day, and for me I'd so much rather serve others and work than be
served and sit around. To me this was a perfect way to celebrate.
Towards the end of the concert Howie Harkema, the director of the St. Barnabas Soup Kitchen reminds me to make an announcement that there will be more concerts coming to this blessed spot. The folks raise up the biggest cheer of the night. I really believe that we are going to be able to do a series of summer concerts at the Market that will grow and become a natural extension of the cool, organic, artistic feel of the Saturday morning public market. I also point out those who have made it possible. John Mead and Carson Benner of Cellar Ridge Custom Homes who made the oven and provided all of the materials for both the oven and the shelter that protects it. Peter Kircher, owner of Golden Valley Brew Pub, who supplied the beer for the event. Of course Jason who has been making pizzas all evening, even though he has to be up at 3:00 AM tomorrow to start baking bread all over again. Kelly McDonald, who owns the property and had the vision to make it a new public square for this community. I love them all, and I'm so thankful that they have worked so hard to make this a wonderful experience for the people of this town.