Whether or not there are 400 fish per mile along Oregon’s Metolius River isn’t really the point. Nor is access, which is so candy-sweet that you’re bound to stumble into the ethical waters of proper distance when leap-frogging a fellow angler. And there is surely no questioning the majesty of the place.
The point is that I’ve had days on the Met where I’ve caught more bats than trout, yet it remains a contender for my favorite watershed on the planet. A temple of beguiling blues, the Metolius flows nearly 30 miles from its spring-fed source—a geological sleight of hand just north of Black Butte—through the sleepy outpost of Camp Sherman en route to Lake Billy Chinook in Central Oregon’s high desert.
Along the way it’s a slideshow of postcard images. The river’s many pronounced ledges and channels produce a broad range of depths, currents, and riffs on water color—from brooding midnight blue to coral so bright it seems plugged in. Standing watch are countless brick-red Ponderosa Pines, with their puzzle-piece-shaped bark and enough rings to prove they were here long before the fishing became tricky.
Since they stopped stocking the river in 1995, the conversations have changed. Talk of 30-fish days transitioned to neurotic recollections of what nearly cracked the code: A size 18 Rusty Spinner tied to a 12-foot leader, caught in a little whirlpool on an overcast Tuesday; a BWO fished wet just after a rain; a Little Yellow Sally trimmed to look like it’s injured, preferably on the first 80-degree day of the year.
In this digital age, we’re rich with torrents of content, as long as we’re within a wi-fi signal or carrying downloads. Much of this content is property, though, which is an immensely overlooked fact, especially where music is concerned. For the thousands of wineries, breweries, and bars treating their clientele to custom playlists, playing their favorite Spotify station in tasting rooms, taprooms, and other on-premise venues, or providing live music, there are strings attached—and they can be costly ones.
An increasing number of on-premise venues are being approached by performance rights organizations (PROs) like BMI, ASCAP, and SESAC for hosting live music or playing recorded music without legal permission. “This area has always been ripe, but the [music] industry really only started to enforce it in the last few years,” says Sheila Fox Morrison of Davis Wright Tremaine, a law firm based in Portland, Oregon, that employs approximately 500 lawyers in offices throughout the U.S. and China. “Restaurants went through a similar discovery period about 10 years ago.”
Morrison believes the biggest misconception involves streaming. “The copyright act provided for some carve-outs, or safety areas, when it was written, but that was back in the 1970s,” she says. In other words, there’s an exemption for radio broadcasting, but the music you might be playing via iTunes or Spotify needs to be licensed appropriately if played in a public space. “The risk is real,” she says. “It may be difficult to prove infringement, but with fines up to $35,000 per work infringed, and you’re playing many songs during a day—well, you do the math.”
Many streaming services, such as Pandora, offer business accounts that keep users compliant by means of subscription fees. Others, like Spotify or your iTunes library, technically demand special licensing if they’re played in a public space.
Presently, many Willamette Valley wineries are entering the apex of the 2018 crush. That translates roughly to a mind-numbing number of daily cellar tasks, from processing the last of the vintage’s fruit to barreling down young wines for the season.
We lack the space for every detail, but we can offer a useful—and illustrated—snapshot of the process at large. Welcome to a glimpse of a day in the life of a vintner during their busiest stretch of the year.
PICKING (6:32 A.M.)
Most winemakers will tell you that great wines are grown in the vineyard. Picking is backbreaking work that requires a trained eye, speed and stamina. Some crews are instructed to watch out for certain flaws in the field, like rot or dried out clusters.
SORTING & DESTEMMING (8:01 A.M.)
Work a harvest or two and your dreams will be sabotaged by sorting line visuals. This sometimes monotonous task ensures the best and healthiest clusters end up in the cellar.
LAB WORK (9:50 A.M.)
There’s plenty of chemistry in the process of winemaking, and daily analysis of the must (young wines) paint a telling picture of the vintage. The basics often measured include pH, Brix, temperature and titratable acidity.