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On Fishing and Winemaking

I took my youngest son Jaxon out fishing yesterday for the first time. He’s been asking me to take him for quite some time, but things just never worked out, or I just never made the time I needed to to make it happen.


It was a beautiful day in the waters off of Santa Barbara. The day started with a drive through the beautiful sun-drenched scenes of the Santa Ynez Valley and into the fog-covered hills above Santa Barbara proper. It was still overcast as we got onto the boat, filled with excitement about what lay ahead.

What a treat it is to see your youngest smile – and keep smiling. There really is not much better in the world than to try to do something to make your kid happy. Now, I certainly can’t take credit for a beautiful day, nor for a wonderful crew that helped him with his ‘baby steps’ at understanding the rod and reel, and how to place the live anchovies on the hook.

So how’d we do? Well, we both ended up catching quite a few rock fish; we both caught a few larger fish that were just under the minimum limit to keep; we both had ‘the big one’ get away; we both enjoyed the simplest, yet most tasty breakfast burrito, quesadilla, and cheeseburgers you can find anywhere; we both ended up a bit sunburned; and we both smelled like fish. Great day indeed!

How does this compare with winemaking, you ask? Well, some days are going to live up to your expectations and some days are not. You need a tremendous amount of patience to fish – and to make wine. Sometimes you need to wait a little longer than you’d like or want to pick grapes, or keep the subsequent wine in barrel before bottling, or see those wines out in the marketplace.

I could go on, but I’d rather pan grill up some fillets and enjoy them with the smiling little guy.


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