Paul Hinschberger
 
January 18, 2016 | The Wine Whisperer | Paul Hinschberger

The Lamb Whisperer?

One of the many reasons I love my job is that I rarely have to do the same thing two days in a row.  Whether I’m in the cellar, filing government paperwork, or herding sheep--most days I don't know what excitement awaits me.  My official title at Rangeland is Winemaker. For some, this might conjure up an image of me swirling a glass of cabernet all day and mumbling pompous comments about the wine’s nuances of purple petunias and tiger sweat.  Others might think that I just sit in my office and write work-orders for my inferiors to complete.   In reality, because we are a small winery, I am also the assistant winemaker, cellar worker, and intern/peon.  I wash the barrels, clean the drains and I even harvest my own tiger sweat. On top of my cellar duties, I also help out on the ranch with cows, sheep, vineyard projects and basically whatever Laird or Nathan tell me to do.  So although my task list may not seem as glamorous as most people’s expectations, I prefer to have some grit in my job description--even if that means shoveling sheep excrement.

This week, Ranch Manager Nathan, Eddie ("retired" and does everything) and I have been building fence around the barn in preparation for lambing season.  Constructing livestock fencing is so much harder and more precise than I would have ever imagined.  Fortunately, Nathan and Eddie have been extremely patient with me while I am learning the rudiments of fencing--they give me the easy jobs so I can feel good about myself.  It is times like these that I feel truly humbled as a weakling winemaker since I can’t seem to keep up with Eddie, who I’d wager is twice my age.  

I don’t really know exactly what ‘lambing’ is going to entail just yet, but we are expecting to have 250 baby lambs born within the next few weeks!  I can’t wait to be surrounded by so much cuteness.  I have this bucolic image of myself dressed in shepherd garb cradling a newborn lamb and keeping it warm while I sing it to sleep with a soft lullaby. Then doing it 249 more times. However, I’m pretty confident that won’t actually happen.  I may just end up covered in feces, cursing a lot, with my dignity shattered. But that’s what makes a better story, right? Stay tuned on that one.

So this is my first blog, and I’m not exactly sure where I want to go with it just yet.  I’m not confident that anyone other my mom will even read it.   Nonetheless, I plan on writing about wine-oriented topics such as the soil’s effects on wine, Paso Robles’s place in the wine world, and the relationship between wine scores, popularity, and price.  Ideally, I would love it if our club members would ask wine questions of me in an “Ask Amy” sort of way.   I could be your own personal wine butler, who answers to your every question.  I shall call myself… the Wine Whisperer.  (Apparently, there is already a trademarked ‘Wine Whisperer’ but I thought of the name idependently.)

For questions or comments, please email me at paul@rangelandwines.com or comment below.   

Until next time, Cheers!

Paul, The Wine Whisperer

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