November 19th, 2008

I wonder if most kids with their Playstations and Wiis and crazy interactive worldwide live cyberspace games have ever even heard of Atari. There was one in my house, but we were just at the cusp of that first technological shift and our Atari was quickly replaced by Nintendo. Atari is grandfather to all these electronic games, though, and to have been one of its originators is to have secured a very comfortable place for oneself in the world. This is a good quality to find in a winemaker, I’ve learned.

Dennis Groth, who founded the Groth Winery with his wife Judy, was one of the leading figures in the original Atari company and when that company was sold in 1984, the Groth family became free to live on principles. For example, the power of Atari money allowed the Groth family to pass on labeling any of their wines “Reserve” for the years 2000-2004. This decision cost them $5,000,000. To them it was worth it not to sully their label with wines they knew to not be of a high enough quality to call “Reserve”. Another family might not have been in the position to keep their bar so high, but the Groth’s can afford this kind of standard bearing.

I know that there are layers and layers of political and philosophical discourse under what I’ve just written. I’ve possibly offended some of you. Why not discuss it over a glass of wine? I hear Groth is pretty good…

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