The Ongoing Story of the Lost German Winemaker with the Large Backpack (see Part One below)
I dropped Ulrich, the wandering German winemaker, off at Lenz Winery and winemaker Eric Fry promised to give him a “complete tour” and I arranged to pick him up within the hour, when I was driving west towards New York. I’d drop him off for a meeting with Charles Massoud at Paumanok and, well, if anything came up between now and then, Eric was in charge.
Eric called me an hour later to report he’d passed Ulrich to Rich Olsen-Harbich, winemaker at Raphael Winery (just across the street from Lenz). I could pick him up there. I found Ulrich in the barrel room; they were about to taste Rich’s Riesling. “I didn’t know you made Riesling,” I said to Rich- who I hadn’t seen in a while. But we didn’t have time to chat. I needed to get Ulrich to the Massouds before they left for the city.
But first, we had to stop at the dump. “This is what people do in the country,” I explained to Ulrich, who merely nodded, as if the events as they were unfolding, didn’t surprise him at all. “There is no garbage pick up around here; you have to do it yourself,” I nattered on. Ulrich was impassive. “Don’t worry you don’t have to help.” I said, dragging out my garbage, my bottles, my newspapers. I waved to the Man in Charge who waved back. I was a Dump Regular after all. “Of course I will,” said Ulrich. And then we were on our way to Paumanok. Although it was almost two o’clock, Ulrich had yet to have lunch. He was a bit hungry, Ulrich confessed. What was in that giant backpack of his if not a sandwich or five, I wondered – but I didn’t ask. “Don’t worry. Ursula is one of the world’s great cooks,” I told Ulrich. “No one has ever left her house or her winery hungry.”
(To be continued)