Mapping Johndrow Vineyards

Pavi Late Friday afternoon I headed to Johndrow Vineyards to map their blocks of vines. I parked my car on Main Street in St. Helena, California and climbed the stairs to the office of Wine Maker Robert Lawson’s Pavi Wines. Robert is the Wine Maker for Johndrow Vineyards. I was met by Wine Maker Julianna Beckman Gosling who wasn’t quite sure who I was or even why I was there.  I soon filled her in on an Experience of Art & Wine and she graciously led the way up the windy roads to Cimarossa Vineyards on Howell Mountain. We were met by a lovely Italian man in running shorts sitting in a red tracker, the proprietor of the vines, Dr. Dino Dina.  I thanked him for taking time out of his afternoon to show us the vineyard and to provide his experienced and personal insights into the terroir. We walked the length of the vineyard blocks that produce the fruit for Johndrow wines to Dr. Dino’s favorite shaded spot where he runs.  I snapped this photo as we were coming up to his favorite vista. As we tooled around in the his shiny red tractor I made notes on the vineyard map Julianna had supplied.  This is the only way I can orient myself to many acres of vines. Last week when I was touring Robert Modavi’s To Kalon vineyards with patron Tom Copham, he asked me an interesting question.  “How will we know that this painting is To Kalon Vineyard?” It’s a very good question and I’m glad he asked it.  My answer.  “Because it is. And I can take your hand, retrace my steps with you in the vineyard, position you in just the right spot, and with my painting beside you, you’ll see the vineyard through your eyes and my eyes.” Although I’m not a realistic painter and I’m clearly taking creative license, Wine Makers and or the Ranch Managers will look at one of my paintings from their vineyards and remark something like, “That’s block 6A!  The old Zinfandel vines.  I know where you were! “ They love it. So my short answer is that you’ll know it’s your vineyards because it was inspired by and in your vineyard and I have the map that will prove it. ;)
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