Sunday, July 12, 2009

Panning For Gold

When I was a young boy I used to love panning for gold. Growing up I spent a lot of summers in California with my grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles; I would dig up handfuls of dirt and sand in the Tuolumne River and pan it down. I remember digging up bagfuls of dirt on my aunts property, and panning it down or breaking up quartz rocks looking for a nugget. I even had one of those metal detectors thinking I would be able to hit the motherload if I searched long enough. Even where I grew up in Willamette Valley, in the Santiam River and the famed Opal Creek, I panned for gold.

While it was a fun hobby and while I had dreams of striking it was hard work for zero return.

As with the gold rush in the mid 1800’s you staked claim in a belief that your hard work would result in some-kind of payoff or squeak by a living. Similar to these pioneers, we are working for the love of our product and the hope of earning a living. You read a lot of stories of how the wine industry is just plain hard work…well I guess I just love to get my hands dirty.

When my confidence starts to get rattled or I am up nights doing the “what-if’s”, I reach in my wallet for some words of inspiration I keep with me.

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain

Cedar River Cellars has staked a claim in Washington, and we will slowly be sifting through the black sand to find our little nugget of gold.


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