Juan Micieli-Martinez is truly a Renaissance man. And comedian and news reporter and travel diarist and teacher and poet … well, you have to check out his new video newscasts, MCV Farm News, to see what I mean. He’s the winemaker at Martha Clara Vineyards in Riverhead, so of course it’s all about what’s going on there at the winery and vineyard.
“This is the MCV farm news bulletin,” he kicks off the latest installment. “In the vineyard, signs of spring are all around… We have seen signs of bud break on our C3- gewürztraminer.”
“This is an exciting time of year,” he says, quite seriously. Actually, it is exciting for everyone in the wine industry, after that ridiculous winter, to see the vineyards come back to life.
He also praises the lowly dandelion. In early May, the vineyard rows are beautiful carpets of yellow that rival the famously flowered rows of other wine regions. As Micieli-Martinez points out, they herald the arrival of bud break, when the baby grapevine leaves unfurl from their tight buds, and start to turn sunlight into new sustenance for the vine. Micieli-Martinez also recites a lovely haiku he wrote about the dandelion.
There’s now an ongoing series of news bulletins and, as well as being fun, they are surprisingly educational and informative. Pruning, caning, growing, harvesting, bottling — if it’s happening that week, it’s reported. The April 6 edition shows pruned canes being chopped in the vineyard, the bottling of the much-anticipated 2013 Northville Red and preparing sparkling wine for disgorging. Also, Micieli-Martinez fills us in about his meeting with acclaimed music producer Nile Rogers in New York City to discuss an upcoming August concert at the winery.