By Lenn Thompson, Editor and Publisher
Today's Q&A subject is Bob Madill, general manager at Sheldrake Point Vineyard on Cayuga Lake in the Finger Lakes region of New York.
Bob was part of the team that founded Sheldrake Point in the spring of 1997 and he's a fellow tech marketeer, having spent over 20 years in international high tech marketing and sales, as well as work within the wine industry in Ontario, Canada.
What (and where) was the first bottle of wine you remember drinking?
In the late 1950s we moved from a remote British Columbia coastal town to Montreal.
There my parents purchased what become a summer property on the St. Lawrence River not far from the Ontario border. Late in June and early July, it became the habit of my mother to serve fresh, local Quebec strawberries with Mateus Rose at our frequent gatherings of friends and family. Fun, fresh and informal. Also quite delicious.
What event/bottle/etc made you decide that you wanted to be in the wine industry?
My move towards the wine industry was more of the gravitational pull of a love of physical work combined with curiosity and engagement with the rejection of the values evident in the computer industry after two decades.
I entered as an amateur seeking clearer, more transparent language for understanding and expressing what I was tasting and remain with that focus.
Which of your current wines is your favorite and why?
Why would one who loves color choose but one? At any given moment I have a half dozen wines open so that I might taste and reflect and discern. At one end of the spectrum I love our 2006 Reserve Riesling for its austere statement, linearity and precision. On the other, our 2008 Gewurztraminer for its blowzy, passionate expression of a vintage.
What has surprised you most about being a member of the Finger Lakes wine community?
That I have found my metier in the company of a few other like-minded souls.
Other than your own wines, what wine/beer/liquor most often fills your glass?
The one that I am offered by friends and circumstances. Although I confess a particular joy in a sound glass of Burgundy of either color.
Is there a 'classic' wine or wine and food pairing that you just can't make yourself enjoy?
I am not fond of oysters so Muscadet can be given short shrift. Unfair I know but there you are.
Wine enjoyment is about more than just the wine itself. Describe the combination of wine, locations, food, company, etc. that would make (or has made) for the ultimate wine-drinking experience.
There is nothing like the loquacious mayhem of a summer picnic with close friends to bring out the very best in serendipitous, anarchic explorations of wine, food and opinions. Step into the Luncheon of the Boating Party.