I can date the beginning of my friendship with Simon Woolf to October 15th, 2011.

We were part of a small group of wine bloggers making a visit to Carso, a tiny and obscure wine appellation at the very top of Italy facing the Adriatic.

An impossibly unique place, wind whipped from every direction, literally a land without top soil, stretching for a short distance from Carso in Italy into Slovenia where it is called Kras.

It is there that Simon and I experienced for the first time what he terms amber wine in his forthcoming book. Literally white wine made like red wine where the grapes are fermented on their skins creating a wine distinct and complex, ancient in lineage but out of the market norm for generations.

And serendipitously, where inspiration for his book Amber Revolution originated.

It was in Sandi Skerk’s cellar in Carso on that day precisely where this happened.

I can’t remember whether we barrel sampled the already blended Ograde (Sandi’s opus to skin macerated white wines) or just the Vitovska, one of the four grapes in the mix. But I do remember holding up this white wine, deeply amber in hue, rich and mineral in taste and having that wondrous aha when something completely unexpected feels exciting and just right.

I remember Sandi talking to us about this new-to-me thing of skin-macerated whites that tasted so interesting, so full of mouth and rich with flavor. So much of that rock and mineral-laden place, yet suspended with such finesse and balance.

I’ve blogged on Sandi’s wines and Ograde incessantly over the years.

Simon’s obsession went broader, kicking off a four-year exploration of this winemaking technique that has in the meantime become a market force as natural winemakers everywhere experiment making white and field blend wines with this new/ancient tool in hand.

Simon and I stayed connected.

We traveled to Etna and fell under the influence of the volcano, Salvo Foti and later Frank Cornelissen. Then to Marsala where we discovered skin-macerated naturally-made Grillo as we washed down freshly caught sea urchins with our group seaside in a salt marsh on the outskirts of the city .

We are guys from different backgrounds. He as thoroughly British as I am a New Yorker.

Both of us are tech professionals and truly obsessive lovers of cats. But our common bond is shared inspiration around wine as something that is part of a greater movement towards a cultural ethos of taste in life.

We have bantered incessantly (and argued a fair bit) over the language to describe this and the role of natural wine in the market, but it is our jointly held belief in the power of wine to connect people to each other that makes this friendship lasting.

I’m pleased to introduce Simon and his Kickstarter project, The Amber Revolution to my networks here in NY and across the country. And to the many in my tech community who have honored me with providing some guidance through this natural approach to winemaking.

I’d like to encourage my community to view his video on the Kickstarter page, check out his site if you want to see his writing, and give some thought to supporting this project.

Simon is a prodigious taster, damn good writer, genuinely good guy, and seriously impassioned about this topic.

Please do consider helping to get this book written.

When I coerce Simon to come over with the finished book next year, join me in NY as we raise a glass of amber wine and applaud an idea that someone made happen because it was important to get it made and out in the world.

It’s cool that Simon and I met where this all started for him.

Very cool that I get to do this intro of him to my world where he is not as yet known very well.

Take a look at the project. I encourage you to support it.

People following their passions is the really good stuff of life and exactly why Kickstarter exists to help them do so.