Some called them flower children. Others called them hippies. I can vividly recall my father watching the CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite one day during the “Summer of Love” in San Francisco and just shaking is head.
“Look at all of those hippies,” he said incredulously. “Every one of them needs a haircut and a bath.”
I presume he was speaking only of the young men… but I can’t be absolutely sure.
My Dad and those hippies defined the Generation Gap of the time, but as I grew older, I came to realize that there are “Gaps” between virtually all generations; how they are manifested depends in large part on world affairs, technology and other factors of the moment.
But here’s something positive about the hippies of the 1960s that even my Dad would have to acknowledge: They were among the first people to emphasize and popularize the notion that we needed to start doing a better job of taking care of Mother Earth.
Today, many of those hippies are wine aficionados, and they are joining modern environmentalists in embracing wines that are crafted using Earth-friendly methods in the vineyard as well as in the cellar. Vinesse even has a club, the Earth-Friendly Wine Club, devoted to such wines.
Every year, more and more vineyard owners are embracing farming that ranges from simple-but-effective organic methods to ultra-focused Biodynamic practices. There are stringent certification programs for both vineyards and wineries, and those that participate in such programs are helping to protect the earth in a variety of ways.
Do these techniques and practices change the flavor of the finished wine? To a degree. The perfectly healthy grapes that are produced tend to be flavor-intensive, and that can help a vintner produce truly expressive… and delicious… finished wines.
I’m thinking my Dad might even forgive the hippies if he could taste the wonderful organic wines being made today.