Monday, July 27, 2015
Randall's Folly--Vitis Grahmbrusca
WHAT’S THE PLAN?
The plan is to create 10,000 new grape varieties, Vitis Grahmbrusca. Mainly because the 10,000 that Mother Nature created suck. We need 10,000 new ones. Varieties that will be planted on their own roots, the better to resist disease and drought. Vines that won’t ever need to be suckered—not like you're being at this very minute.
I thought of it. And who better? The wine business is moribund. We need some new ideas. We need dreams. We need more crackpot science. Vitis Grahmbrusca will do for wines what phrenology did for psychology. But it’s not just numbskulls I’m measuring, it’s credulity.
I won’t be doing this alone. By contributing, you’ll be a part of this research. Research that will change the way we think about wine, maybe not in a good way. I’ll also be consulting with other researchers at prestigious universities, like Davis, Fresno State, and Hogwarts. It will take time, it will take money, and it will take some kind of weird spirituality that I’m still thinking up. But we can do it.
THE PROBLEM WITH GRAPES NOW
Grapes haven’t had sex in thousands of years. Sound familiar? They’ve only had sex with themselves, like monks, and Donald Trump. This means that they haven’t evolved at all. Like monks, and Donald Trump. Imagine if you were exactly like your great-great-great-great-grandfather, the one the sheep were afraid of. Well, that’s what it’s like now when we make wines from Chardonnay and Cabernet— we’re just making more and more of the same old sheepfuckers. Like Donald Trump.
My plan is to try something that’s never been tried before. Unless you count God. Who, by the way, has never been on the cover of Wine Spectator. I’m going to breed grapevines that will be the greatest grapevines the world has ever known. How will I do this? Oh, don’t you worry about that. It’s way over your head. Think of the whole process as being like all the outrageous and obscure puns I put in my writing—you don’t need to know what I’m talking about, just laugh knowingly as though you do. Besides, if you give me enough money, I’m going to let you name one of my new varieties of Vitis Grahmbrusca. Isn’t that amazing? It will be like being a kid again and naming your imaginary friend! Only this time, it’s an imaginary grape. Yeah, I know, it’s remarkable. It came to me in a dream.
WHAT WE’RE BUILDING FOR YOU AND OUR FUTURE
The most important feature is the creation of 10,000 new wine grape varieties. Imagine a vineyard where every single vine is unique. Each vine would contribute to expressing the vineyard’s terroir. Think of it like the internet of vineyards. Remember how boring it was when wine had only one voice, the Emperor of Wine’s? Robert D. Nero fiddling while Rhône burns? Now think about how much better the wine world is with 10,000 wine bloggers! Background and authority have been rendered meaningless, and the world is a better place for it. So it will be in viticulture when Vitis Grahmbrusca becomes reality. Like the internet, the vineyard’s terroir will be revealed by its ten thousand occupants to be a whole lot of empty noise.
Using good old fashioned science, I’ll create grapes that not only produce unique and delicious wines, but will help our warming climate by being far more drought tolerant and disease resistant. Don’t you want to be a part of this? I made a small fortune selling off my Big House and Pacific Rim brands, so I’m set. I’m not doing this for your money. I’m offering everyone a chance to be part of something as big as my chutzpah. One day you’ll be opening a bottle of wine made from Vitis Grahmbrusca and telling your children, “And, yup, I got a poster.”
The vineyard, which is already paid for, because, you know, I got Pacific Rim money, is in San Juan Bautista, which is eloquent and appropriate in itself. It’s a sacred place, this vineyard in a place named for John the Baptist. I feel I am in the mold of John the Baptist, though Vitis Grahmbrusca will be mold-resistant, too. I have wandered the Earth calling in the wilderness, a spiritual messenger preparing the way. And I’ve completely lost my head.
WHEN IS A GMO A GOOD GMO?
When it’s a Grahm Modified Organism, that’s when. I’m not one of those evil and mendacious agricultural corporations that manipulates plants so that they’re more productive and disease resistant. What I’m doing is different. Really. My experiments are intended to be shared with everyone, an open source for the future, and not intended to be profitable. It’s right there in the 501(c)3 status, that it’s knowledge to be shared with our community. It’s stated in what’s called the “Monsanto Clause,” and, yes, Virginia, there is a Monsanto Clause.
Even Michael Pollan has endorsed my plans. And Jamie Goode. If Rudolf Steiner were alive, I’m sure he’d be on board. It’s just that crazy.
WHAT’S IN IT FOR YOU?
Wine is about community. Especially the natural wine community. A central tenet of natural winemaking is that the customers are supposed to pay for the winemaker’s experiments, but usually after it’s been bottled. I’m offering the unique opportunity to pay for those wildly imaginative experiments TEN YEARS AHEAD OF TIME! Opportunities like that don’t come along every day. Ask the friends of Bernie Madoff.
When my plan succeeds, and Vitis Grahmbrusca is a reality, you’ll have been a part of it. But let’s just say that I don’t raise the $350,000, because people like you don’t want to be part of my natural wine community, because you simply don't recognize reality when it's staring right at you. Then how are you going to feel when I succeed? Ask yourself that. I’m trying to build a viticultural Noah’s Ark, and you’re calling me nuts. Where would the world be if Noah hadn’t built that Ark? There’s the reality.