A little over a year and a half ago a met Arnulf Esterer,Winemaker, at a meeting of young farmers from in and around Conneaut. A better way to put that would be, a bunch of elder farmers wanted to meet up with a bunch of younger farmers who were trying to figure out how to meet some of the elder farmers. Make sense? Arnie was described to me as an eccentric, you’ll like him, who never goes anywhere without a fork in his pocket. Can’s say as I’ve witnessed him deploying said utensil the few times I’ve spoken with him, but I’ve had his wine and I learned instantly what the big deal is about white wines. Not the cloyingly sweet stuff found at most vineyards around here. Dunno, dry crisp yummy. I learned what a proper Reisling tastes like. When I told him that I had heard that he was the most interesting person in town and that I wanted to work with him, he chuckled and said, “you don’t want to go into growing grapes. What do you love to do?”
“Make pots. Or at least once I did.” So he took me back to his house behind the winery and showed me his broken and glued back together collection of Hamada-san pots from the 50s. “You should make pots,” he said. In my head I heard him say, “follow your own dreams, don’t follow someone else’s.” He’s got 3 generations from 2 local families working the vines at his place and they do an amazing job of it, the last thing they need is my thumbs getting in the way. So I’ve been sneaking up on them ever since.
I once heard that Zen is the act of trying to catch a rabbit that can read your mind.