Story: Libere volarein
The instance you have poured wine out of the bottle, you have given wine its freedom.
The freedom challenges the wine to express itself, to observe the faces around, and to be a catalyst for conversations. Whereas you, the liberator, are challenged to funnel your emotions to a limited array that facilitates the environment.
We, the winemakers (Richard C. and Max H.), had the great challenge of liberating our idea into wine. Our common idea of liberation? Making wines that would echo our friendship and help others strengthen theirs and to make new ones. Making wines that would be a portrayal of our philosophy: logic and art. Making wines that tackles social issues. Making wines that taste just darn good.
We can tell you about friendship. Meeting each other on the first day of the Viticulture and Enology graduate program at University of California, Davis, we quickly forged a bond. Our first conversation was about our love for soccer. We then figured that in our cohort, it was just the two of us who actually played and loved the sport. Hence, the coat of arms of our wines being the combination of the American bald-eagle and the Japanese Yatagarasu (Eight-Span Crow) creating the Yata Eagle.
Yata Eagle will guide us in making great wine, making new friends, and finding out more about each other. Let friendships be made. Let freedom reign. Let the wine out of the bottle. Let the bird out of the cage1,2. Let us give you wine.
- West, Kanye. “Waves”. The Life of Pablo, GOOD Music and Def Jam, 2016, track 10
- Angelou, Maya. “Caged Bird”. Shaker, Why Don’t You Sing?. Random House, 2013
Animals have long been observed preferentially eating fermenting fruit and humans are no exception. Fortunately for the entirety of Kingdom Animalia, plants harness the power of the sun to produce sugars that are fermented to alcohol by our unseen friends, yeast. Winemakers are nothing more than the slightly-sloshed shepherds of this process. Those who are drawn to this devotion are members of the human condition who get a kick out of sweating profusely, playing botanist, and most likely have an overgrown sense of romanticism (and ego). This is a fitting self-description.
Winemaking serves a different purpose to me than what wine serves. Though I have great vision for what wine can be, the dream is marred by the environment it is commodified in. Issues like labor, international tariffs, environmental damages, wage inequality, Neo-liberal policies all impact the wines we consume. To afford the freedom to consume wine and to make wine in peace is a goal that I strive for but I believe I cannot do so until the conditions are right. Until then, I will struggle and hopefully lay the foundation in which we can all force a change together.