G. L. Pease
The Pinot harvest is officially over, at least in our little corner of the world, and the juices have been merrily fermenting away. It’s been an incredible experience for me to work with and learn from Scott Rich of Talisman, enduring early mornings picking in the vineyards (those who know me know that I do not normally get up before the sun, but I somehow managed), endless hours hand-sorting clusters, de-stemming, macerating, punching-down, pressing, barreling. Now begins the seemingly endless wait for the wines to luxuriate in their oak casks for as long as two years until ready to be bottled, and then to rest in the bottles for another year or so before being ready to drink. Fortunately, I’ve got some bottles from previous vintages to enjoy in the interim, though not nearly enough of them to last.
By G. L. Pease
In the early 1980s, when I first took up the pipe seriously, aging tobaccos wasn’t something many smokers talked about. Most pipe smokers simply bought their tobaccos from their local shop, smoked it, and thought little of it. In fact, older literature often suggests that tobaccos should be enjoyed relatively fresh.
Charles Rattray, for instance, in his Disquisition for the Connoisseur (date unknown), wrote, "Tobacco is a vegetable that lives and breathes: it does not improve by being imprisoned in an air-tight compartment." (He later retreats somewhat, writing about his mixtures that, "they improve with keeping, and the last pipeful or two of a pound of tobacco tastes the best.") Somewhat ironically, old cutter-top "prisons" of Rattray’s blends are some of the most highly coveted and revered blends amongst today’s cognoscenti.