Sean, at Manka's; 2003. © Hugh Stewart, photographer.


Recent additions to the site

Wine-maker Sean Thackrey; an interview on winemaking; where to find his wines Orion, Pleiades,Taurus; and his history of wine e-text librar


:: Grapes, crushed, ferment.
:: Human intervention is not required, except in pursuit of pleasure.
:: So wine-making is a pursuit of pleasure; and since it both proceeds and ends in a process of savoring for which the contemplation of wine is the archetype itself, the process of savoring is both the subject and the object of this website.

:: The first section is called The Thackrey Library: an Archaeology of Pleasures. It is an attempt to provide an on-line archive of early texts on the making and understanding of wine, not excluding those somersaults & mysteries, jokes & inspirations that are part of the pleasure this is all about. Since, to my knowledge, no such anthology has ever been offered, even in print, it is by far the most important contribution I can hope this site might make.
:: After all, our wines have emerged from our understandings, not our geology. Without any comprehension of the ancient and extraordinarily complex culture of wine, how can our current understanding of wine not be thinner and less rich? Who can comprehend this culture without reading the only texts that preserve it? How can these texts be read if they are unavailable to read?
:: So, I've spent many years carefully transcribing such texts, letter by letter, from my own collection of early books and manuscripts on the history of wine-making.
:: And, for each transcription, I've written a brief and informal introduction, to give some idea why I at least think that particular text is worth reading. All of these introductions are available in the section called, well, Introductions. Since it's quick and easy to download and browse, it may be a good place to start.
:: All this may appeal to a dozen people worldwide. But they are my friends.

:: The second section is called Freedom of the Press, after A.J. Liebling's observation that freedom of the press is guaranteed only to those who own one, which of course I do. So I thought it would be a good title for a long conversation on a large number of topics, mostly drawn from the questions I'm most frequently asked. I'd like it to be a way to keep in touch with, and respond to, people I don't have a chance to talk with in person.
:: And if that isn't enough, there's a link to an interview with Allan Bree, which should surely do the trick. We discuss many dread but amusing issues, such as terroir (meaning "turf " in English, or at least, in American); along with varietal identity, and authenticity, and typicity, and so on.

:: This site is a long-term project of mine, which I will keep adding to for many years, whenever my work permits. At the moment, it's barely beginning to ferment.
:: In the meanwhile, it remains true that any website is just electrons. They're not endangered; I enjoy playing with them; and I hope they provide someone with pleasure out there. I hope the same for my wines.

— Sean Thackrey
February, 2004


Recent additions


winefinderThackrey LibraryFreedom of the PressWinefinder