This week took on a personality of its own, as weeks sometimes do. There’s no way I could have predicted some of the coincidences, which triggered several flashbacks, some good memories, and the sense that this is a very small world indeed.
Many friends reflected on Belle Rhodes’ passing, as well as her role in developing Napa Valley wine and gracious living. Her husband, Barney, who I haven't seen in years, sent word that he'd like me to visit and look through his cellar for any bottles I might be interested in for research. I can't wait to see him.
Later that day, Mark Tchelistcheff, who I'd never heard of, called to say he is working on a documentary about his late great uncle, André Tchelistcheff, who was one of the most important and influential winemakers in history.
“I’m looking at a great project, and I’m aiming at making something great for the big screen,” Mark said. He is in Napa Valley doing some preliminary research. Mark, who is based in New York, owns Openfilms.net and coproduced the 2005 movie Conversations With Other Women.
Next, my girlfriend from second grade—who I haven't seen for 25 years—found me while she was surfing the net, and happily told me that she now lives in an official American Viticultural Area, Snake River Valley, Idaho, which is home to several wineries.
Finally, an old friend, Greg Upton, gets a mention in the wine column of today’s Wall Street Journal (along with Tchelistcheff for his 1969 BV Private Reserve). His friends in Napa opened a special bottle that he’d made in 1995, and then I ran into his wife, Tracey, another old friend, at the gym.
My editor colleague Dana Nigro thinks I better check my astrological charts to figure out what’s going on, and I’m going to do just that.