Kissing an unloved grape - The New York Times

He wondered what would happen if the grape were grown differently, with the goal of reaching maturity with lower sugar content, and turne...


He wondered what would happen if the grape were grown differently, with the goal of reaching maturity with lower sugar content, and turned into wine with a lighter touch.

“It was never really about liking or disliking variety,” he said. “It was about finding a path that seemed unexplored and being truly enchanted by the things I could learn about wine and winemaking if I dig into this grape that I didn’t know much about.”

Finding his own path has been a life goal for Mr. Kirkpatrick, who grew up in Midland, Michigan, in what he calls a traditional Baptist community. His father was a preacher, and wine and other alcoholic beverages, Mr Kirkpatrick said, were taboo.

He left Michigan to seek his fortune as a singer-songwriter, landing in Louisville, Ky., Where, like many aspiring musicians, he got a job at a restaurant. He began to learn about wine, he said, to get bigger tips, but found that wine had a lot more to offer.

“I was blown away by the potential of storytelling,” he said. “I found that really convincing.”

Soon finding himself more interested in wine than restaurants or music, he decided to move to Napa Valley in 2013 with the idea of ​​making his own wine.

While working in a contract crushing operation, where customers without their own facilities can use the space and equipment to make wine, he met Ms Watkins, an artist and photographer. In 2016, their first vintage, they settled on the Mountain Tides name, focusing on the connection of land and water and the movement between the two.

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