Slave to the Vine: Confessions of a Vagabond Cellarhand
by Darren Delmore
Wine. It makes us feel so cool — sipping at home next to a roaring fire; ordering something unpronounceable at a the latest Michelin-starred restaurant; being seen, glass in hand, at the local hipster tasting room. It’s unfortunate that in this life-is-a-constant-photo-op day and age, wine has become a prop, a fashion-icon even. And for wine drinkers (as opposed to wine appreciators or wine students), the story stops there. To those wine drinkers I say: You know nothing.
What we pour into our glass is not a drink. It is a story — a story of a farmer who planted his parcel to vines; a story of climate and soil; a story of farmhands who pruned, picked, and sorted; a story of cellarhands who pressed, pumped, and racked. Forget the bottle, forget the label, forget your crystal stemware. Wine’s story is rustic, it’s dirty, it’s gritty. Wine’s story is a story of hard labor and hard decisions. Wine’s story: If you haven’t lived it, you don’t really know.
Darren Delmore has lived it and shares his story here.