Ever wonder where the phrase “the art of the deal” came from? Thanks to our travels to source and produce Layer Cake Wines, we think we know. Try bringing a contract lawyer to help negotiate with a grape farmer in Argentina and you’ll end up with a lot of empty wine bottles. Every agreement that’s hammered — no, let’s say finessed out — down there is done via subtle yet firm, friendly yet respectful verbal gymnastics that would make a trapeze artist dizzy. Getting to a mutually agreeable price for grapes is akin to a romantic movie in which two lovers meet, court and decide to get married while enduring all the ups and downs along the way. The discussions that ensue are actually much more similar to a couple chatting over dinner on a first date than a business meeting. Scene 1: We meet the farmers in their rock-strewn vineyards, often in the shadow of the incredible Andes mountains, and taste their grapes directly from the vines. Scene 2: We proceed to talk about the weather, families, the old days, the best places to eat in the area, and the memories that wine can evoke. Scene 3: As the sun sets over the farmer’s front porch, we slowly get around to an agreement that’s beneficial for both sides, and with nothing more than a handshake, we are off to await the arrival of our grapes for the latest vintage. It’s magical, it’s beautiful, and it’s the most artistic deal you’ll ever see.