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Heart’s Bluff at Nashville in Napa Share Thisi

On August 13-14, 2010 Hearts Bluff Music helped sponsor the Nashville in Napa event to raise money for Music Programs in the schools. We spent several days in the beautiful Napa valley, getting to know several of the songwriters and winemakers.

On Friday night we co-hosted the sponsor dinner, along with Dana and Donnie Gallagher, owners of the Trespass Vineyard. In addition to their incredible Cabernet Franc, they provided an amazing Bar-B-Q at sundown in the middle of their vineyard at the edge of Helena.

Several people asked me to provide a copy of the toast I gave that night, describing the similarities of songwriting and wine making. Here are my notes:

Winemaker:

It all starts with the quality of the root-stock and the vines

Songwriter:

It all stars with quality of the idea

Winemaker:

The grapes that stay small and ripen slowly, will yield the most focused, intense flavors

Songwriter:

The best phrases say the most with the least

Winemaker:

It’s about creating a small journey that unfolds from opening aromas and color, followed by layers of flavors and surprises

Songwriter:

It’s about creating a small journey that unfolds from a perfect opening-line, followed by layers of story, melodies, and surprises

Winemaker:

Their favorite wines are the ones you’ve probably never heard of

Songwriter:

Their favorite songs are the ones you’ve probably never heard of

Winemaker:

It’s actually gritty, sweaty farming, combined with expertise, craft, and good luck. And for that one magical vintage, there were many others that were really, really hard

Songwriter:

It’s actually tedious, frustrating hours, combined with expertise, craft and good luck. And for that one song that fell out the sky, there many others that were really, really hard

Winemaker:

The vines need a certain amount of stress and difficult soil, so the flavor of the grapes will have opportunity to form their unique character

Songwriter:

Must become acquainted with the stress and suffering, before they are able to express and redeem it. Ultimately both creating a magical, mysterious experience to be shared, tasted, enjoyed and remembered.

A Toast, a Blessing, a Prayer….

May you discover greater ideas and root-stock.

May you have focused, flavorful fruit

May you tell rich, unfolding stories

May you flourish regardless of your fame or obscurity

May your vines be stressed without withering

May you persevere in your work.

May your harvest be bountiful

Salute!