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Michael Patland
December 11, 2015 | Michael Patland

Where Art and Wine Converge

Sorry! No video on this post. 

You may have noticed, most of these articles are written somewhat impromptu. Usually I’ll wait until something interesting is going on, and break out my camera phone to capture it. Well today something interesting happened, but it wasn’t an appropriate time to start videotaping. Regardless, I wanted to share this with you.

People constantly ask me about our wine label. What it means? What inspired it? Where it came from? It’s always my pleasure to tell people. The art that makes up the left side of each label was done by a Croatian artist named Dzemal Emric—a family friend and my art teacher from when I was young. 

Today, Dzemal hosted an art exhibition in San Jose. It was a small and intimate gathering where I was able to reconnect with an old friend and teacher. Dzemal and I spoke about our artistic processes, philosophies, sources of inspiration, and much more. These were all things that I hadn’t deeply thought about in many years. At one point in our conversation, Dzemal recalled what I was like as a child artist. He told me that I displayed such passion, that I stood out from the other kids… He remembered how much I loved art—drawing, painting, etc. 

Now I never abandoned art. No. I’ve said many times, that instead I found art in a new medium. I saw it in wine, and I embarked on a new journey to understand and master it. But in the last five years that I’ve immersed myself in wine, my previous means of artistic expression was put on the back burners. This show, however, and these conversations I had with Dzemal, they brought something back. I was reminded how wonderful it was to see the world through the eyes of an artist. 


Seeing the world in that way means never taking anything for granted. You appreciate beauty everywhere that you may find it. As Dzemal said, one of his paintings was inspired by a book about the ocean. Another was inspired by the intricate decorations on the hats worn by old ladies in his homeland. And several more were inspired by the colors and energy of the Fall season. Too often people are blind to the beauty in front of them. It’s important to step back and look around. 

Before I left, I went to say goodbye to Dzemal. He had one last thing to show me. While everyone in the room stood facing the four walls, contemplating all the abstract paintings, Dzemal pointed at the coffee table in the center of the room. I was confused. He showed me the stone tile table top. He showed me the sanded wooden frame around the table top. He showed me the four gold leaf legs of the table. It occurred to me: While everyone tried so hard to understand the paintings on the walls, no one had the vision to see the artwork in the center of the room…

Step back and look around people! 


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