Zen Breath 3-2-1

Note: You are receiving this email because you subscribed to my weekly 3-2-1 newsletter or you subscribed to the Koi Zen Cellars newsletter. Every Friday, I share 3 wine terms, 2 quotes from me, and 1 question for you to ponder. Occasionally, I also send out long-form articles on habits and self-improvement.

"It takes a lot of Beer to make fine wine"

~ The Zen Winemaker ~

3 terms, 2 quotes, 1 question

July 30, 2021

Happy Friday! Time to wrap up this week and get ready for the next! Take a deep breath and kick off the weekend on a positive note. Let's consider where we have been, improve it, and move forward next week. Packing the most content into the least words and trying to change the world, one glass at a time.

Subscribe to this newsletter

3 - Wine Terms - Soil Types

Note: all information here is generalized to allow you to gain the concept - individual vineyards will differ. As in all winemaking, it's complicated.
  1. Sandy Soils - Lighter, Aromatic, Low Tannic wines are typical

    Sandy soils drain well and retain the heat of the day. In cooler regions the wines grown in sandy soils tend to be more aromatic and those in warmer climates are softer and more rounded.
  2. Clay Soils - big, bold, flavorful wines with high color and tannins

    Clay soils retain moisture allowing the roots to stay wet. Some varietal such as Merlot love to have their feet wet while Cabernet Sauvignon does not. World famous Calcareous clay is heavy in limestone producing some of the boldest red and white wines worldwide.
  3. Silt Soils - lower acidity, softer, rounder, and smoother wines

    Silt soils retain both heat and moisture however are very fine grained causing the roots to struggle. The wines in the wind blown silt of eastern Washington tend to be lighter in color, lower in tannins and smoother. In Oregon the combination of silt and clay produce some of the best Pinot Noir available.
Geek Zone: Loom Soils - Valley floor soils very fertile lower quality

Contrary to popular belief, wine grapes grown in fertile soils tend to be of lower quality than those produced in more stressful growing conditions. Vines in fertile soils grow with a lot of vigor resulting in flavorless, expressionless grapes and excessive crop management must be used to increase quality.

The finest wines come from highly stressful growing conditions - the same can be said about people, those who challenge themselves achieve more than those who are lazy.

2 - Quotes from Me:

1. "Trying and failing is called learning." ~ The Zen Winemaker

2. "Not trying or giving up is called failure." ~ The Zen Winemaker

1 - Question to ponder:


Koko Crater Hike - Ohaho
I just returned from a week-long vacation in Oahu with my daughter. She was attending a wedding and asked if I wanted to be her +1 -- I said yes immediately – excited because neither of us had ever been to Hawaii.

I always enjoy “ getting the lay of the land ” when I first arrive someplace new, so we drove past the Pagoda Hotel where we were staying, then around Honolulu, through Waikiki, Diamond Head, and ended up heading south to China Walls where the brave jump off cliffs into the surging waters.

Shortly after leaving the cliffs, my daughter excitedly points ahead to this huge extinct volcano and says, “That’s what I want to hike.” Upon seeing the steepness of this mountain, I joked, “Are you trying to kill me?” She was insistent and we bantered back and forth – she was serious and I was very nervous knowing there was NO WAY IN HELL I could ever do that hike.

Deftly she pulls out her phone and says, “It’s called Koko Crater – in ¾ of a mile, you climb over 1000 feet up to the rim following an abandoned tram line.” “Miranda, I’m almost 59, 20+ pounds overweight and not in shape – I can’t do it.” She simply said, “Yes you can.”

You know what she said when I asked her what she wanted to do the next day.

The next morning, we park and hike a short distance to the trailhead – I was out of breath just getting there. At the trailhead troves of people were nervously moving up and sweaty dirty tired faces were coming down. The narrow-gauge rail line appeared to ascend straight up this huge mountain -- the former train cars were pulled up by a stout winch.  Miranda cheerfully says, “Come on Dad, we can do it.” All I could do was shake my head wiping the sweat out of my eyes.
The railroad ties were at an awkward distance – too far apart except for a lunge step and too close for two steps, but we started the ascent, careful not to bust an ankle or worse. We slowly worked our way up the steep slope having to stop every 100 feet or so to catch my breath and mop the sweat off my face.  In places, you had to step up over 2 feet from tie to tie holding on the railroad track as support or crab walk on all fours.

We weren’t even halfway up and I was hot, my thighs burned, my breath heaved, and I said, “I don’t know Miranda, I don’t think I can make it.” She said, “Look at how far we have come, the top is right there.” I looked back which was far, but the forbidding top loomed even further and much steeper. “Come on Dad, just a few more steps.” We trudged on with her constant encouragement.

She was right, the start was getting further and the top was slowly getting closer.

About halfway up we came to a “bridge” where the tracks were split, heaved up 3 feet, and the ground fell away beneath. People were crab-walking up and down on hands, feet, and butts -- then the slope became even steeper. We climbed the last 1/3 mile or so using the railroad ties often as ladder rungs.
I was going to die, everything ached and I knew how easy it would be to call defeat – besides we still had to get down. But I kept quiet and now we rested every 30 feet or so in the hot sun. She kept smiling and saying, “We’re almost there” The last 300 feet were pure torture but we finally did it and I realized that with the encouragement of my daughter, her constant support, and uplifting attitude, I did the impossible.

We sat at the edge of the crater enjoying the stiff breeze and a vantage point where you could see forever. Slowly my breath returned to normal and a smile formed on my face – we had done it!
The trip down was even more treacherous, so easy to snap an ankle or tumble down the steep railroad tie steps, but gravity was on our side and so was the overwhelming sense of success and accomplishment – I had done what I told myself was impossible , realizing my limiting belief was wrong the whole time.

Question For You

What are the things in your life that are IMPOSSIBLE just because you have told yourself so?

Is it asking for that raise? Changing careers? Changing a relationship? Starting afresh? Following a passion or a dream? What are the CAN’Ts that could become CANs? It is scary to think that our biggest blockage in life might be ourselves.
Could there be limiting beliefs preventing the IMPOSSIBLE from becoming POSSIBLE?
No Way
Good Chance
Yes, and I want to conqueror them

Thank you to the original photographers of these pictures - all attribution goes to them.

~~ Notice ~~

The biggest obstacle in life is you



Darius Miller - The Zen Winemaker

P.S. Let me know what you think of the 3-2-1 newsletter - or better yet, share with your friends - it would be much appreciated.

Author of a #1 best seller:
'The Zen Winemaker - Follow Your Dreams & Overcome Your Fears'

Creator of:

'The Zen Wine Tasting Journal - Life is too short to drink bad wine, or to wear ugly underwear.'

Become Inspired:

Stay In Touch - Subscribe:

Something to ponder:

If you shared this newsletter with 2 people, who then each share with two people, how many times would this need to be done to reach every human on earth? Answer