About to get on a plane. The destination? Germany. A wine country that I visit all too rarely, but which I always enjoy. My most recent visit was to the Ahr Valley, and I’ll be going back there this week. And previously I did a trip round Germany’s wine regions that was great fun.
So, the producers on this itinerary:
- Fürst, Franken
- Johner, Baden
- Stodden, Ahr
- Loosen, Mosel
- Leitz, Rüdesheim
- Dönhoff, Nahe
- Guntrum, Rheinhessen
- Gunderloch, Rheinhessen
- Schnaitmann, Württemberg
- Villa Wolf, Pfalz
It’s quite a list and I’m looking forward to it. I so love travelling, and this year I think I may have set some sort of personal record for the number of nights outside the UK. Travel expands the mind; it disrupts routines. You can’t travel and remain in an unconscious rut. You are pushed into the mental and emotional space where you become open to directed change. And change is part of life.
I think about change a lot. We all change; it’s simply impossible to remain the same – like a plane in mid flight, it’s not possible to park up and remain where we are. For most, though, change is an unconscious thing that happens to them, like ageing. It’s as if they follow a pattern. A path not of their own choosing.
I guess I have been like this in the past, but I don’t want to continue that way. I’d like to change consciously. Travel is a prompt that helps me step back and look at myself and have some sort of honest appraisal. The ego observed is stripped of its destructive influence. All these people around me. All with their lives every bit as detailed and significant as mine. This big world. Suddenly I see myself as part of something much bigger. A part of a huge universe.
Back to wine. I suppose you could be a really good wine journalist and travel only occasionally. But it’s so much easier to understand a region or country’s wines when you’ve actually been there. At the beginning of a trip like this I know I am going to learn a great deal. I’m looking forward to it immensely. I think it’s also going to be tremendous fun. [The picture above is of the Ahr valley on a freezing winter’s day. I’m hoping it looks a bit greener this week.]