One of the curiosities about winemaking is that the best grapes do not grow where you might expect. Although grapevines may thrive in fertile soil and perfect weather, the best wine grapes come from less than ideal locations.
Grapes grown in rocky soil with imperfect weather conditions develop more depth and character than their coddled counterparts. You can make wine from those grapes grown in ease, but it won’t be as good as the wine from vines that had to really work to produce grapes.
It’s easy to see the correlation with other aspects of life. Adversity and stress build character. Too much adversity isn’t a good thing, but a life of leisure rarely creates depth and character.
It’s important to keep challenging oneself throughout life, both mentally and physically. We all need to step outside our comfort zone occasionally.
I was reminded of this when E and I joined a gym after a much too long hiatus for both of us. Although I don’t relish the 5 a.m. trips to the gym, it feels good to challenge my body. It’s a small thing, but it’s been a nice change of pace.
I get stuck in a routine all too easily. My weeks frequently look startlingly similar: the same schedule, the same rituals, the same meals, the same wines. The weeks turn to months and the months to years. I need something to shake up my life from time to time.
One reason grapes develop more character in poor soil because it causes their roots to dive deep into the earth in search of nourishment.
Here’s to diving deep in life.