Wines have been described as having hints of herbs, undertones of black current, or a smoky finish. It sounds like there’s more than just grapes in there, and there is! Grapes absorb what’s around them; from earth, sky, and air. Grapes grown by the sea take in the salty air, while others, minerals from the ground or the taste of the wooden barrels they age in. If the grapes fail to become great wine, their environment can explain why, but instead of using it as an excuse, ask how can it be changed to produce amazing grapes. I believe people become infused with their surroundings too, by other people, places, and experiences. At first it was my parents, siblings, and where I grew up. Then it was my spouse, children, college, country living, working hard, friends, and more recently, my husband’s death. All these things impacted the person I’ve become by teaching me how to love, be wise, nurture, find solutions, and be strong. Whenever I uncover bad grapes inside, I don’t excuse them by saying oh well, it’s just the consequence of my environment. Instead I ask myself, what can be changed to turn those grapes into amazing wine!