As an immigrant to the United States from Sweden, my identity remains true to my place of beginnings yet have adapted to the place I stand in today. The open vast, green landscape, the ever-reaching bright blue skies with white, billowy cumulus clouds above, deep clear lakes with clean waters, the modest, modern identity of design and art, the meaning of equality and fairness – these make sense to me. And its' a part of me. Today I am now a Swedish American and have been for the last 40-years of my life. My place of origin is Sonoma County.
Justin – my American husband a 7th generation Californian and half Swede (his mother immigrated in the late 50s) -- was born and raised on the land we live on today. That is magnificent, incredible. Living today at his place of origin. His origins run as deep as the old vines’ roots. As he ages, the origins of his place and his gnarly working farmers hands, reflect what is a part of him and what his ideals are. The land, the place and hard work – it’s a part of him.
Fascinating, isn’t it?
Place. It’s a delightful word to either grasp or frankly run away from. A place defines you with connections beginning with our birthplace, to your childhood and what penetrated us, what molded our being. Of course, there is the ethnic and cultural identity of who you are. The cultural identity is the place of our ancestors and forefathers and mothers – those who have walked before us. Not only does this give you a sense of identity, you as a person; your characteristics – your hair color, eyes, skin color, height and frame; identify you and is who you are.
The place you are from, whether where you were born or where you were raised is a part of who you are as a person. These are your origins; the point or place where something begins, arises, or is derived. Wine grape varietals are equal in nature. There are common characteristics of varietal yet the place or place where it is grown offers a winemaker to craft wines of place or commonplace.
As winemakers, we call this typicity. Typicity being the degree to which a wine reflects its origins, and therefore demonstrates the signature characteristics of the area where it was produced, its viticulture practices, or its mother clone. We craft wines of place as we strongly believe in the land at Garden Creek and the identity of the varietals we have planted. It’s our strong sense of place with crafting wines which drives us to craft pure wines.
Wines and the interpretation of wines are vastly complicated. As humans, we are not created equal in terms of equal taste buds, or equal olfactory identification perceptions – one can learn with much practice and dedication to increase your ability to taste, feel and understand the details of fine wines and their origins. It also requires a thorough understanding of local traditions and those unchanging characteristics noticed over the years that vary with local climate and soil type in each appellation. You will not find much typicity in wines with huge appellations on their labels; they are most often found in wines from smaller districts, appellations or a single vineyard. Typicity of great wine often requires an acquired understanding of many unique aspects. To craft a wine of place is the true work of a vigernon – one who grows his own grapes to produce his own wines, as we do while crafting a wine of place.
Each glass of our wines will always taste of its’ origin at Garden Creek, most likely first shared by a Swede or hands of a farmer.