Tuesday, July 08, 2008

A Legend in the Washington Wine Hall of Fame

It's marked on my calendar - a rather bitter-sweet reminder that this is the weekend Stan Clarke, who I referred to as my "wine guru," would be posthumously inducted into the Legends of Washington Wine Hall of Fame at Prosser, WA. All last week I struggled on what more I could write about Stan Clarke without it being maudlin. Afterall, the Stan I knew wouldn’t have liked that continued sentiment very much, if any sentiment at all. He would prefer I talked about him in the content of Lemberger wine, the Grateful Dead or the time he showed up at my house with 100 lbs of Cabernet Sauvignon grapes and exclaimed, "Surprise! You're going to make wine." However in my lack of words, Mary Hopkin, Tri-City Herald staff writer captured it perfectly:

Stan Clarke likely would be embarrassed to know he's being inducted into the Legends of Washington Wine Hall of Fame.

But for his family, it's an honor for the humble, low-key viticulturist and teacher who died in November.

...Clarke became associate director of the Walla Walla Community College Center for Enology and Viticulture, combining his love for teaching, winemaking and grape growing.

He was always sunny and upbeat, and even in the dead of winter would be wearing shorts and a Hawaiian shirt -- his uniform of choice.

Often his socks didn't match ...'If people want to judge me on whether my socks match, I don't think I want to know them'

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