September 24, 2017
"Great Wine requires a madman to grow the vine, A wise man to watch over it,A lucid poet to make it,And a lover to drink it"-Salvador Dali
Dionysis Riding Panther Greek c 120-80BC, Hellenistic Floor Mosaic, House of the Masks, Delos
As a Winemaker here on Waiheke Island,New Zealand, the essential parts of my existence are these two expressions of creative Alchemy, Wine and Perfume, stretching back through millennia. There is already huge awareness around the well documented historical aspects of Wine, I shall not delve into this, yet very rarely is the Soul of this remarkable living liquid spoken or written about. Alchemy, but Poetry also. So much of the creation of fine Wine that speaks to the Soul of those who imbibe it begins its journey to the glass from the spark of passion, Dionysian and Maenadial tendencies, an inner intimate connection.
Malbec Grapes Awaroa Organic Vineyard, Waiheke Island 2016, Danu Seith- Fyr©
The sorcery begins right here in the vineyard crucible of elemental forces that shape the growing of the vines and the formation of the longed for fruit. In the vineyard is the union of Sun, Earth, Wind and Rain… however it is the capturing of the sunlight that draws my attention, ripened grapes are as balls of liquid sunlight encapsulated.To walk a vineyard just before vintage is a Paradise indeed, and there is something of a perfection of Harmony only achieved by Nature in the form, colour and proportion of this fruit of the Gods.
Merlot Grapes, Awaroa Organic Vineyard, Waiheke Island 2016, Danu Seith- Fyy©
Used throughout time in religious contexts, Wine and Perfume have always been associated with the Gods and Exstastis , a means to rise outside the ordinary, the mediocre , to take flight outside of one's ‘normal’ existence, a Libation devotional. There is a distillation of the very core of the vines fecund progeny that emerges from the process as Wine, also in Perfume, the Perfumer reaches in and immerses him/herself into the very heart of each element to draw out the soul nature of the component, it is the task of Winemaker and Perfumer alike to be as the ever sensory explorers, to compose the harmonic, extending the perception, in this conducting of the forces of Nature their hands excel.
.Hand 2017, Danu Seith-Fyr©
Wine is a living, vibrant substance that through several processes from grape to wine is transformed and carries all the qualities of the land around it, the people who picked it, the winemakers and a hand of the gods in the mix. There are things as a winemaker I have some form of control over but a lot I cannot, in a small , organic vineyard, there is an intimacy I can have with every single batch of wine. Every part of the process has my touch upon it, from the magic of fermentation to the moment of pressing in an old Italian wooden basket press, skins squeezed for every last drop of red, velvet liquid, the wine as it pours forth from the press tasted for characters, a moment of revelation. Often clothes stained with red wine, hands blackened from tannin.
Hues of Alchemy, 2016, Danu Seith-Fyr©
The pouring forth of this new wine is a moment of birth, as I taste at intervals to determine the quality, a stream of ruby, garnet or inky purple depending on grape variety, spilled on the stone floors in rivulets, conjures images of this Ancient Art of the Ages. Always inhaling the aromas present in the glass, here the crossover with perfumery, always scent, eyes closed, what is it reminiscent of, where does it take me to, am I uplifted and borne away or is it flat and uninteresting, then the palate of course, an added dimension,the liquid vine. I have a fine Nose by all accounts.
Oak Drawn Blood, 2016, Danu Seith-Fyr©
Wine pressed from skins, poured into oaken wombs for the gestational, this combination set down in wine cellars the world over. When I gift the wine into this cradle I have to surrender.The barrel whisperings that I cannot control, the wine has its own agenda, a timetable, a revealing slowly over that maturation time of what really was the essence of that particular summer, what secrets did that unique combination of vines and climate, soils and people combine to become a season bottled.
Awaroa Syrah 2015, Danu Seith-Fyr©
The few times I have worked with the creation of a fragrance for personal reasons, I feel the same stillness as when I make my wines as if I have stepped into the space between worlds where the sorcery of these arts resides.
They are both bottled memory; wine captures that particular summer and carries it forward, the essence of a geographic place and the touch of those who crafted it. Terroir. Buy a bottle of Wine from any country in the world, when you open it, scent it, taste it upon your palate, infusing all your senses with the poetry of Place, triggering memories of love, family, time shared. For that is the beauty of Wine and Perfume.
Opinions my own, Wine Samples my own
-Seith- Fyr, Winemaker and CaFleureBon Contributor