Wine of the Fog and the Hill

Last evening Chester River Yacht and Country Club held one of their spectacular five course wine dinners. Jenna joined me and we learned about the Vajra wines from the Piedmont region of Italy. I love a great bottle of wine, but I really love a great story. 

Since the 1600s generations of the Vajra family have grown grapes on this beautiful countryside in the northwest corner of Italy near the Alps. Historically, the family sold their grapes to winemakers, but in recent years the younger generation decided to harvest their own grapes and produce under their own label. And, speaking of labels, the designs of dragons, flowers, and birds in full color are stunning pieces of art. 

One of the selections, Vajra Nebbiolo Langhe 2018 was especially delicious and when I learned the word for the grape nebbiolo means fog, I knew this was the wine I needed to offer at my Thanksgiving table in 2020. During harvest, which generally takes place late in October, a deep, intense fog sets into the Langhe region where many Nebbiolo vineyards are located. Hence the name.

Recently I was inspired by a new UnderArmour Team video featuring fog as a metaphor for COVID-19, I am convinced that the tagline – the only way is through – introduced in January, should be our anthem for 2020. The Nebbiolo Langhe, wine of the fog, is thus the drink of the year.

We have had fog on the Chester River almost every day for the past two weeks. I am now looking out my new dining room picture window at fog, once again. The best thing about it, though, is that when it finally lifts, you can see so clearly that which has been hidden. It is a reminder that once we are out of the fog of COVID our path will be visible. I hope that it will make people kinder, and more empathetic toward each other and to our differences.

We also tasted a bold and hearty barolo last evening, which I specifically went to the dinner to taste. Vajra Barolo Bricco Viole 2015 is also made from the nebbiolo grapes. Bricco means top of the hill. Another great metaphor for 2020. The only way is through the fog, and we must get to the top of the hill for the best vantage point.

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