Clinton took a deep breath and allowed the scent of the wooden barrels mixed with the fermented fruit wash over him.
Ever since he was little and chasing his older sister, Avana, through the barrel barn, he always had to stop and take a long deep inhale of his father’s work. It was a smell he always loved and so desperately wanted to understand. And now he does.
With years of hard work, he finally was able to produce a wine his father approved of. It was not easy to impress him. But then again, Clinton was not Avana, who had a natural talent for making wine, as so their father said. So it was always hard for Clinton to get his father’s attention while he was looking at what Avana was doing.
But not this time. Besides this batch of wine, Clinton had something else up his sleeve that would get Adam’s attention. Something that Avana was nowhere near accomplishing, as far as he knew, for he hadn’t seen or heard from her in eight years.
His engagement to Naomi happened this past weekend. He did it right there in the vineyard, surrounded by plump red grapes. Cabernet, to be exact, because they were her favorite. He and Naomi had met almost two years ago, when his mother, Evelyn, hired her to help her in the shop and conduct wine tastingS. Soon, Clinton realized that he was in love with Naomi but didn’t ask her out until less than a year ago.
Falling for Naomi made him realize that if they started their own family, then it would be more of a reason for his father to pass Edenton Vineyards to him. Clinton would make it a point to promise to keep the winery in the family by passing it on to his son or daughter when the time came. Isn’t that what his father would want? To keep the business in the family? And that’s exactly what Clinton was offering.
His sister can’t offer that, at least it wasn’t in her nature to settle down, so how could she commit to a business? So what if she had the natural talent of making wine that so impressed their father and convinced him she was the one meant to inherit everything? She made her choice eight years ago when she left didn’t she? While he stayed as a dutiful son to help run the business. And all this time he came to learn the art and science of winemaking. He was ready to take on everything, while Avana kept running away.
Clinton noticed he was breathing a little harder and his heart was beating faster as he thought about his sister. He took a deep breath to slow down.
There is no need to worry, for who knows when she’ll be back, or even if she’ll ever be back. Either way, he was prepared to do anything to keep his plan on track.