Many winemakers can pinpoint the epiphany that propelled them into their chosen profession. Konrad Ejbich, one of Canada’s most highly respected wine writers, recently interviewed County winemakers to uncover the tasting experience that drove them to become winemakers.
Keith Tyers’ experience hails back to his restaurant days…
1994 DRC Romanée-Saint-Vivan and I can still visualize it! I was at Far Niente and had just finished serving a table. They had ordered a $400 wine bottle for their dinner and the bottle still had some dregs in the bottom around the punt, I wondered who would pay that much for a French pinot when we were known for California cabs. I poured the remains into a glass, swirled it around and knocked it back. Hmm, that was good, I thought. Then, within 30 seconds, there was an explosion of flowers, minerality and fruit. That’s when I got it. I got what all the fuss was about. It’s been 20 years and I’m still looking for that pinot… that complexity, that evolution over time, the weight, the delicacy… a wine that will dance on the tongue like a ballerina.
The aha moment lights the spark but like creating a wine, becoming a winemaker takes time, talent and a little luck.
Interview originally appeared in That “Eureka!” Moment by Konrad Ejbich, Grapevine, Summer 2017