Adam closed the door and locked it. He sighed, thankful to be in his third favorite room of the house, the master bathroom. It came after the barn, where the wine fermented, and his office. But unlike his office, the bathroom was the only place he could really think and clear his mind without being disturbed, for everyone knew not to bother dad while he was in there. Occasionally, Evelyn, his wife, would knock on the door and make sure he was okay. Longer than two hours and she would start to worry. She swears that on his dying day she’ll find him in the bathroom. But that was still a long way off, hopefully.
Adam did his business but took some time to look around after he washed his hands. The window faced north and brought in excellent sunlight. He had placed a few potted plants in there because of it. As soon as they began to over flow in their pot, he would transfer them to a bigger on and place it outside. He had a spectacular collection by now. But it couldn’t compare to his most prized vineyard.
He had bought the land in his late twenties after touring Italy and working in a vineyard in Tuscany for three years. Based on what he learned on that vast land, Adam turned the dirt patch into award winning bottles of wine. Of course, not without the help of his life companion, Evelyn.
She was the one who started to enter their wines into various wine competitions that helped put Edenton Vineyards on the map. Being an artist herself, Evelyn designed the labels for each bottle. Not to mention, she was the bookkeeper and made sure the company stayed afloat. She even helped in the vineyard when extra hands were needed. Adam was grateful for everything she did.
As for him, well, he made the wine. It was eerie how natural it came to him. His senses were amplified compared to a regular person. Just smelling a grape, he knew exactly how to pair it with other fruits to make different complex flavors. This heightened sense of smell and taste allowed him to anticipate how the wine would turn out and gave him room to fully experiment.
But wine wasn’t all just taste and smell. It was chemistry too. Knowing the fermenting process was just as important.
The only person to fully understand that was his daughter, Avana. She inherited his sense of smell and he knew it the moment she would not eat mashed carrots as a baby (he had refused to eat them at that age as well). He let her begin picking fruits for wine at eight years old and by ten, she had a fully formed pallet.
His ultimate dream was for her to take his place once he no longer was able to move freely around the vineyard.
But at the moment, it was unlikely to happen, for she had gone off to “find herself” or whatever. He’ll admit she’s a free spirit and had a feeling this would happen. So before she left, he gave her a good amount of money to help her along. That was eight years ago and with no word, she was either well off and rich, traveling all over and too busy to stop by and say hi, or too proud to admit that she’s broke to come back.
So that left him to work with his son, Clinton. Yes, Adam pitied him a bit because he tried too hard to be good at what came naturally to him and Avana. Clinton worked tirelessly to be able to understand what he and his daughter knew just by being. The amount of times he came to him to make a suggestion on what flavors to pair were plentiful and sad, for Adam had to deny each one, not fully satisfied that it was good enough. Unfortunately, he developed a habit to almost tune out his son and dismiss his idea by saying they had enough barrels to focus on already.
But he had to give Clinton some credit because he never gave up. And last season, just before they began harvesting, he had shown Adam his plans for a merlot that seemed promising for once. He couldn’t give his old excuse, for it seemed like Clinton planned in advance and presented his idea before Adam could give the excuse to say no.
Adam wasn’t completely sure if Clinton made this move just to prove to his father that he can make wine, or if he had some other agenda in mind. One that involved him inheriting the vineyard. But why would he want it? That’s what Adam didn’t understand.
Either way, there is no point for him to make any decisions about the vineyard yet, especially one involving a pen and paper with the word “Will” written on it. Adam’s health was above average for a man his age, a hearty 65 years old. And it gave him plenty of time to wait another seven years to see if Avana does come back.
Adam’s gaze turned to the wide window above the bathtub. A few of the smaller plants sat there on the sill. From the window, the small path between the store and the barn could be seen. As Adam’s eyes followed the path to the store, they fell on Evelyn running into Sam, one of their sommeliers. He looked frantic, waving his hands up and down as he talked to Evelyn. Adam was sure he saw Sam mouth, “Where is Adam?” to Evelyn, who, with her back turned to Adam, shrugged and gestured to the window of Adam’s sanctuary.
Adam ducked so he couldn’t be seen in case they looked up. He sighed and figured his alone time was over and he should get down there and see what was going on.