This weekend my fiancé took me to a release party hosted by his clients’ and friends’, Fahri Diner and Jill Layman. This celebration took place at their Skipstone Estate, stunning vineyards rolling over 200 acres and tucked between two hillsides in the mountains above Alexander Valley. Fahri and Jill hosted a warm and beautiful tasting and dinner celebrating the release of 2006 Oliver's Blend, a full and yummy Cabernet Sauvignon.
What struck me was their winemaker’s directive. To make the best wine. Now I’ve met a lot of winemakers and I can tell you, they all say that is their directive. But most don’t really enjoy the same freedom as Andrew Levi, who is like an artist with a supportive patron free to express his ability and vision.
The demands of the market push and pull most winemaker’s agendas. Popular sales, yield, and margin cloud most winemaker’s thoughts.
But Fari is a successful entrepreneur so he really is most interested in making the best wine. And because he can support his winemaker’s efforts and intentions, the results show up in the glass.
It’s much like a patron who recently commissioned me to create a large-scale painting for them. I asked when she would like their canvas delivered. Her answer, “Whenever it’s done. However long that takes.” She was clear and deliberate that she did not want to interfere with my creative process. With this freedom and respect I will go above and beyond to create the best result that I possibly can. I’m sure that Andrew feels the same way.