Saturday, August 12, 2017

A Family of Wine

At the Rockefeller Center Farmers' Market I revisited the Anthony Road Wine Company tent, and as I approached saw a familiar face. It was that of John Martini, one of the owners of the vineyard in Finger Lakes (I later searched this blog to discover I had last spoken to him in 2010 at the Union Square Farmers' Market).

While sampling his wines I chatted him up about what had lured him into the wine business in the first place. Apparently a good friend of his made the suggestion and the idea stuck. So in his early 30's he and his wife Ann bought the vineyard and never looked back. Now after over 40 years they are beginning the process of handing over the reins to their children, who by the way, already encouraged him to update the look of the labels.

I said how lucky he and his wife Ann were to have worked at something with such a passion. I'm sure there were times when they both dreaded getting up before the sunrise and would rather have rolled over and gone back to sleep. His said that even though you're at the whim of the weather, he wouldn't have done it any differently. It's more than just a business... it's a lifestyle, a lifestyle that especially works when you have the support of your whole family. John points to a photo of his huge extended family posed in front the vineyard. There must have been two dozen people in that picture and he went through one by one and listed who they were and what work they had done at the vineyard.

And I realized this man and his family are a throwback to what once was the way things worked in this country. And they are living that lifestyle and making their dream a reality while being stewards of the earth. I salute the Martini family and wish them as much good weather and fortune as they need to continue that dream.

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