Trellis: Just Another Wine Blog…

Divided Canopy Trellis System: Folktale Winery, Carmel Valley, CA - blog introduction
Divided Canopy Trellis System: Folktale Winery, Carmel Valley, CA

Seven Things About the Trellis Wine Blog

I don’t think the word ‘manifesto’  lends itself particularly well to a wine blog… far too serious and reminiscent of mid-20th century dictators and polished black boots.

But in the spirit of capturing intent, I suppose that’s what this first post is.

There are plenty of wine blogs, wine education sites, and wine educators out in the world, and one more hardly seems to make a difference, but… 

“Nevertheless, she persisted.”

So here we are. Enter Trellis.

No. 1. Documenting a Journey

In the case of Trellis, these are my personal musings, discoveries, and inspirational moments as I wade through the world of wine education at two levels: my own learning and the education of others. Just as the trellis supports the vine, writing supports learning.

And along with that…

No. 2. We Learn Best by Teaching

As of this writing, I’m playing with the idea of taking on the Certified Wine Educator exam and/or the WSET Diploma, both daunting multi-year endeavors.

I foresee that at times topics may stray into esoterica, an unapologetic way to help me process information.

But hopefully, I remain true to the spirit of wine educators and tailor content to a range of audiences – I trust my fellow web denizens to provide feedback.

Curious about wine studies? Read about my WSET Diploma experience with this post.

No. 3. Discovering Voice

I’ve lamented that an excess of formal education effectively ended any hopes of a creative writing career. Academic writing can be dull. Stiflingly so.

Exhibit A: One memorable activity in an Advanced Syntax class many years ago required students to map out sentence structures in their own essays.

The systematic process of taking something apart revealed unconscious patterns

(Note: This is a clever way to discover if someone is the original author of a piece of writing).

What did I discover?

My writing plods along… plod. plod. plod.

And so Trellis acts as a platform to explore a different voice.

I expect it to change over time. I expect it to change as I work with different topics.

I expect it to change as we find ourselves – writer and reader, both. If it were otherwise, things would be dull. Trust me.

No. 4. Topics

This blog will cover the following:

  1. Coastal California (home!)
  2. Wine Making
  3. The Vineyard
  4. Wine History
  5. Wine Basics
  6. Tasting Notes
  7. The People
  8. Regions

These 8 categories will be my compass.

trellis wine blog - merlot wine grapes
In the vineyard: Verticle Shoot Positioning (VSP) with basal leaf removal. Merlot grapes. Yum!

No. 5. What It’s Not: Wine Reviews

Trellis is not a platform focused on wine reviews, though I do need to work on tasting notes (see Category 6 above).

This is a platform for wine’s narrative.

In the words of one of my tasting professors, “How many different ways can you describe a buttery Chardonnay over the years?”

Nothing against buttery Chardonnay. I’m a fan.

Tip: Check out this helpful post on why wine tastes like butter.

Wine reviews in themselves are neither good nor bad, but they lack the context to everything else that goes on – environmentally, politically, socially, historically – to bring that bottle to your table.

THAT excites me. I hope I can help script the story.


No. 6. Life. Amirite?

No promises on post regularity. 

No. 7. Groupie. Not Industry.

I’m fortunate to be a freelance wine writer and educator, but I don’t work fulltime in the wine industry and I’m here to learn along with all of you.

One of the beautiful things about wine is that it embraces those who seek a new path.

The vine has found itself tucked into the travel bags of emigrants and in the cargo holds on voyages of discovery across the millennia, each time accompanied by the anticipation of new beginnings.

In this sense, I feel like Trellis as a blog, or any wine blog for that matter picks up a story that began long ago with the simple goal of carrying it forward for a stretch before the next person comes along and takes over.

Maybe that person is you. 

For now, I’m comfortable with a groupie identity and I’ll see what comes. No pressure.



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