Happy Deed Day, Gundlach Bundschu!

Today is Deed Day for the Gundlach Bundschu winery. Last year, in honor of the day, I republished the poem which took first place in their poetry contest in 2011. It was in honor of the family’s history, their growth, and an ode to all farmers, really. This year, I’ll go back to the poem that took third place in 2010. It is a more personal poem written about my experience adjusting to life as a stay-at-home mom and about tapping into the memories associated with their wine. Happy Deed Day, Gundlach Bundschu! The excerpt below was previously published in 2011 as “Poetry in Motion.”

It was about a year and a half ago when I first decided to “put myself out there.” Writing again…publically…as in let-someone-I don’t-know-read-my-thoughts. I hadn’t written anything creatively in years. Not since the tumultuous relationship of my 20s with the distant artist type. But I found the right catalyst.

My 2 yr old daughter was watching Elmo, my 3 month old son was sleeping. Browsing Facebook (a SAHMs only social outlet some days) I came upon a poetry contest that was being held by Gundlach Bundschu, one of our favorite wineries in Sonoma. The history of this estate vineyard is amazing. Some of my best memories in Sonoma are at Rhinefarm so it was easy to find inspiration.

I reflected on our visits there. Newlyweds, no responsibilities, fine wine, blue teeth. Now, we were lucky to get to open a bottle of their wine and remember… I figured I had about 15 minutes so I knocked out a few stanzas (the 152 word limit) and would revisit it when the fog cleared from another sleepless night. A few tweaks later, I sent it off. What could it hurt?

It didn’t hurt anything. Instead, it healed. It reminded me that there was a me before diapers, nightfeeds, dishes, and dustpans. A me that was an okay writer once upon a time. A me that could capture a sentiment in words, even if only for myself. I received third place in the contest, but really I received much more than that. So here it is, an ode to Gundlach Bundschu, to wine, to my kids, my husband…and to me.

Remove a swirl

Of crimson foil,

Exhaling from another day’s toil

A sigh of relief

The cork releases

Oh, what a sound; my joy increases

What is the mood?

Stem or stemless?

My turn to pose a question, endless

One last check on

Children sleeping

No one stirring, no one weeping

A splash of ruby


Entices with its luscious smell

The lights are dimmed

The table set

Reminding us not to forget

The early days

We frolicked ‘tween

The weighted fruit and rusted leaves

Golden sun, swirling red

We let the warmth

Go to our heads

And now we have

Just our memories,

A taste of days we seldom see

Days of freedom

Days of yore

I smile at the wine he pours

Close my eyes,

Velvet fruit to savor

There is nothing like the Gundlach flavor

So, tonight we will

Cherish our Sonoma escape

Swept away until our children awake

Posted by

Being a stay- at-home mom can leave one thirsting for a taste of the outside world, a world in which sentences are composed of more than three words. Being an educator means one is always seeking an opportunity to explore and learn. Being a woman with a need to connect can be a challenge when adult conversations are rare. In wine, I find the marriage of art and science, agriculture and storytelling provides limitless areas to explore. But it is the people that keep me engaged. The tenacity needed to keep the family dream alive, the risk to start anew, the trials and principles. I love the history of the vine, the impact of a season, the sentiment in the bottle. That is why I write. I write to tell their stories, to share a piece of mine. I write to learn as I teach others. I write to connect with new friends, to disconnect from the world. I write to celebrate what makes each of us unique, and that which ties us together.

4 thoughts on “Happy Deed Day, Gundlach Bundschu!

  1. Let me be brief – wow! While I can compose a semi-decent ( I think) blog post, poetry is definitely off my limits – great job!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.