Soil is an important factor.

This visit is both exhilarating and exhausting. After a full afternoon walking the vineyards and talking about refractometers, soil, pruning and hedging, I was overloaded. But after an afternoon of fermentation and racking, I was famished and very glad Juanita offered me dinner in my room. I ate everything on my plate, hit the shower and fell into bed. But I couldn’t sleep.

The vintner uses everything.

It’s probably because of the confluence of events right before I came here. Maybe I’m experiencing post-traumatic stress from the incident with Bryson, but I can’t help but see metaphors everywhere. And I had the strangest dream. I was walking alone in the vineyard and a little girl about three was laughing and running between the vines. It wasn’t Syrah. She has brown hair like mine.


I have to shake this off. My mind moves to the most recent events. I can’t figure out why I would react like I did to Bryon’s advances. Most women would have taken a stronger stance. I doubt they would have taken off for a week without confronting him. The strange coincidence is that my soil has been a mix of having a great father, then having no father, and learning to live with myself in the fallout. No doubt my leadership emergency has something to do with the way I left home, the things I left unsaid, the responsibilities…. Am I being fermented or racked? Is this what I have to go through before I can be trusted to lead?

Not going there. My only survival is to push past it and focus on the present. The soil is one thing I cannot control, but the environment is something I can control. I’m responsible as a supervisor and the next in line for Managing Director to make sure that Bryson doesn’t use his charm on any of our younger account executives. I have a role in controlling the environment we operate in even if I cannot control all the factors.

I logged into my email to distract my mind from its current path and to make sure things were running smoothly back at the office.

Aside from questions about trade shows and media lists, there was nothing. There was comfort in that, but also concern. Why would Bryson Keller say nothing after five days have passed? The fact that I haven’t heard from Matt, my current MD, tells that Bryson hasn’t leaked a word of this incident. The problem is that if I don’t take action, and Bryson doesn’t bring it up, the whole incident is starting to feel like a figment of my imagination.

Should I take action or let the whole thing dissipate, like the San Francisco fog?



Nora asks herself a question about the metaphor of fermentation, clarification and racking in her leadership. How would you use fermentation to describe a season in your career? Ask the same question about clarification and racking.

Have you ever been in a situation where you hesitated to take action?