A Simple Story

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Here is a post from Dean Allen’s blog Textism.com from 16 October 2002, which was using the publishing CMS: Textpattern.

I know this guy Noël: a standup dude, a straight shooter, a no-bullshit kind of guy. He’s lived in Pompignan his whole life, as have several generations of his family. He speaks in the Occitan-heavy slangy drawl of the Languedoc, in which wine comes out vang, things that are good are bang, and the Village in which we live is Pompeenyang. He is precisely the funny-cranky but skilled misanthropic optimist that I try and fail to be.

Noël is the owner of about 18 hectares of vineyards that lie on either side of the road that runs into town from the North. From this road it’s plain to see that – unlike all of the other 138 members of the Pompignan wine cooperative – Noël grows dense, healthy vines. Big fat grapes. The reasons for this are many: he knows what he’s doing, he works very hard, he loves what he does and – unlike the other 138 members of the Pompignan wine cooperative – he would be unsatisfied to fling a wodge of chemically fertilized garbage into the hopper every September for a cheque.

After Noël was named President of the wine co-op last year, he managed to shake things up quite a bit: he got them computerized (and by that I don’t mean he computerized production, he got a PC for the office), he hired a full-time œnologue (who looks like Danny Kaye and makes goofy faces when sipping), and instilled a policy of actually inspecting grapes before they are weighed and pressed. Many truckloads were rejected for inferior quality. This of course made some growers mad, but for the first time in modern memory the wine was not utter crap. Medals were awarded. Labels were designed. Pallets were shipped. Future options were considered.

But smalltown resentments run long, and this past summer Noël was voted out as President. By September everything was fully back the way it was, the 2002 wine is crap, and the cult of mediocrity reigns once more at the Pompignan wine co-op.

So Noël is telling them to go fuck themselves.

He’s going to build a cave, on his own property. He will get his own appellation. He will make very good wine. This news is recent, and it is very good.