Some of you may have noticed that I have been somewhat off the grid, except for Twitter and Instagram, for the past week and that’s because I have been spending the time doing wine tasting in Napa Valley and Sonoma. This was a much-needed break from the day to day and a chance for me to indulge in wines that I never have the opportunity to enjoy here, in Ontario Canada. While wine tasting was the focus of my time in California’s wine country, I want to take the opportunity to chat about Napa Old Vines, a David Fulton Winery artistic take of the old vines that started it all in Napa Valley.
David Fulton is credited as the founder of the first commercial winery, created in 1871 and today acts as a small batch winery and grape supplier, fueling a few of the Napa Valley wineries themselves. In addition to producing great wines, they’ve taken to trying to preserve old vines in their own way through something they call Old Vines Art. The concept is said to have been born from proprietor, Jason Elkin’s ride home from the winery one day, where he noticed old vines strewn on the side of the road. “A piece of our history,” he lamented, laying on the roadside as one would find a discarded pop can. Elkin felt there was a bit of an injustice being done to these vines that once produced the wines we enjoyed with friends and family and in some cases, vines that trace back to historic moments. It was then that Jason Elkin came up with the idea of Old Vines, an artistic program that takes old vines and turns them into displayable, and sometimes, usable household forms allowing a timeless ability to celebrate these once fruit-bearing vines.
In a place where wine production is longstanding, it often means a wine whose vines are thirty to forty plus years old. Some wine makers insist the vines should be even older than this. … Some producers will rip them out and burn them for the fact that they are not accomplishing production amounts to their desires. One day, old vines will be a thing of the past. We will only see and read about in books… just like the dinosaur.
It is the art of preserving these moments (vines) of history that touched us the most. As an avid wine lover, and someone who looks at a wine maker as an artist, there could be no better form of historic celebration of the art form than this.
Old Vines Art pieces can be ordered as is or custom made from the David Fulton Winery here.