As the train rolled southbound along the east bank of the Hudson River, I took in the varied landscapes along the opposite west bank. Spilling down the slope to the river on that bank at one point was what appeared, from a distance, to be a vineyard. I was envious.
(I never could understand why the region here is called the Hudson Valley. Along much of the Hudson, the land rises steeply right up from river’s edge. Where’s the valley?)
I wasn’t envious of the riverfront site of the vineyard property. I wasn’t even envious of having a whole vineyard of grapes. (I cultivate about a dozen vines.)
What I did envy was the microclimate of the site. Microclimates are pockets of air and soil that are colder, warmer, more or less windy, even more or less humid than the general climate, due to such influences as slopes, walls, and pavement.
The vineyard was …