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Uncharted Terroir, Indeed~

A friend was observing that "the flow" of life was chaotic, hitting rapids, in a bad flow possibly--something to be stepped back from. I’ve been thinking about this a lot in terms of “good” and “bad” flow. This past week I took the metaphor further and thought about it in terms of terroir, and of rivers which flow--sometimes smoothly, sometimes hitting and carving the riverbanks, sometimes cascading over waterfalls, and gradually making the way to even larger bodies of water or returning to the soil. As we know, the bumps and turns of life impact us as well as the world around us. Maybe it’s not to be feared but learned from and engaged in.


Over the past few days, I was privileged to attend a public presentation on the present and future of gene editing and the ethics surrounding it (thank you Policy Horizons Canada), and also an eclectic gathering to discuss terroir and agriculture (and in particular, winemaking--thank you, Hunt Country Winery). As previously mentioned, I am taking 2020 very “personal,” in the words of poet Tony Hoagland. I am soaking up as much as I can and trying to let it wash over me. The good. The bad. The ugly. The beautiful. All of these aspects of life influence who we are as a people, and how consciously we find our way forward. Sitting on the river bank for too long has never been for me, or any of us at Zoar Tapatree. We’re in that river, swimming, hitting the bottom, floating on the smooth sections, and soaking in the world around us.


What I liked about the germline gene-editing discussion followed by the discussion of terroir and cultivating climate resilience was the duality. Adapting nature, and then absorbing and softening nature through our actions. Like a kayak negotiating white water--using the power of the flow and the technical skill of the paddle to negotiate the chaos. Perhaps that is too simplistic, but it resonated with me. Done consciously and with thought, both may lead to positive results.


Gene editing--and heritable editing in particular--may help us cure disease, grow resilient foods, resist disastrous biologic responses. Heady stuff meant to be undertaken with wisdom and consciousness. Climate change, climate resilience and the interplay with both in terms of terroir are somethings we must take greater heed of and start implementing immediately, if not sooner. Mother Nature is not happy! Changing temperatures, weather patterns, extreme events, and unpredictability cause a response in life on earth and its survivability. On an aesthetic level, we see how responsive the trees are by tasting the batched, profiled Tapatree whole maple syrups. Vintners are also seeing their vines respond in different ways to the climate, impacting the flavors of the wine and also the survivability of the vines themselves. Hunt Country Winery in Branchport, New York, is acknowledging that change is now, and is crafting new wines from climate-resilient grapes, featured in a line called, fittingly, Uncharted Terroir. One of the most pleasant parts of the meeting was to discuss the future of agriculture over samples from this new collection--delicious.


Back on Zoar Road, we sat down this evening with two bottles of Uncharted Terroir, and thoroughly enjoyed the well-crafted tones of climate-resilient vines, developed regionally and able to withstand the vagaries of new, swinging temperatures. Like much in life, however, we need to be educated to pick out and cherish fine wines that may not look or taste quite like the wines of yesterday. These wines embrace today and the future. Kudos to Hunt Country for crafting and working with the yields of tomorrow in the Uncharted Terroir wine. We are with you and encourage others to enjoy the beauty of modern terroir. It’s edgy, it’s our reality, and it’s delicious. Enjoy the space you are in. Go with the flow. Learn from the rapids. Be exhilarated by the waterfalls. Luxuriate in the pools. Life can be good, even in the rougher sections. This is our flow.


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