We all know that the music we listen to impacts our lives. But have you ever heard of grapes "listening" to music? A vintner from Oregon experimented with music as he crafted his wines. To be more exact, he let his fermentors (the containers/vats with grapes in them) listen to different music to see how the music might impact the fermentation process and of course the final outcome: the wine.
I interviewed Jason Lett from Eyrie Vineyards a few years back. I wanted to talk to vintners about what they had to say about the spirituality of wine. Jason did not think that he had much to contribute to the subjct matter as he did not consider himself a spiritual person. Little did he know. Once we got talking I discovered that he had been experimenting with music and how music might affect the fermentation process. I found out that he let his fermentors listen to the music of Hildegard von Bingen, one of the most spiritual and gifted theologian of the Middle Ages. She was a mystic, a theologian and a prolific artist. Her nunnery owned vineyards and crafted wine. "Hildi," as Jason calls her, is revered today as one of the most prolific muscians of the Middle Ages and for her insights into herbal medicine .
Just a week ago I was able to sample the wines that Jason had made. While one fermentor "listened" to the music of Hildegard on Bingen, the other fermentor "listened" to the music of John Coltrane. As I sampled the Hildegard wine in comparison to the John Coltrane wine, I was stunned at how different they turned out and how much the wines had taken on the character of the music they had "listened" to. What an amazing experiment and what a tangible witness to the impact that music can have on wine.