This Land Is Your Land..This Land Is My Land From California…

I’m in California for the second leg of the Morellino di Scansano 2012 Tour on Monday, October 1 at David Lynch’s place, St Vincent’s.. I’m very excited for the event but I am also interested in the developing scene around me.

While out here, I found such an amazing diversity of people from all walks of life and nations that I am having an Emma Lazarus moment:

“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
—Emma Lazarus, 1883

I have had involved conversations with people from Nigeria, Eritrea, Iraq, and Russia just by taking taxis, heard their stories, listened to their struggles and really learned an inordinate amount about the world around me. I was very impressed with all of them and their hard work here in America.

I missed seeing Nobel Peace Laureate and Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi who received an honorary doctorate from the University of San Francisco this weekend. I have followed her story with great interest for years since taking a class on Myanmar in college.

I’m here for work though so my mind never strays that far from the wine world and its evolution in other cities and other communities. I’ve also been trying my fare share of beer, food and other local delicacies while away.

I am amazed at how much wine is consumed throughout the States now and how it is sold in local groceries next to food in California as well as in big package stories. I had a relatively inexpensive Chardonnay yesterday from Benzigers while at Scoma’s restaurant with clam chowder and seafood salad with shrimp and crab meat.

The waiter, Tim, got my number in a heart beat, gave me a wink and said the Benziger’s wasn’t too oaky and that I might want to give it a try. He was right. The by the glass price was also just what I was looking for, under $10.

I’ve marveled at the amount of wine that is available and am ever more conscious of how difficult it is for a new winery to break into the market and how they need to see with their own eyes the reality that is the US wine market today.

What’s also great to see is how much people from all walks of life know about wine and how interested they are to learn more. We had a great class on Wednesday at the Texas Wine School with James King. I found the class very engaged, ready with thoughtful questions and eager to learn more about regions and wines. This bodes very well for America and of course for that area in Tuscany that means so much to me, Maremma with its Morellino di Scansano DOCG.

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