The next up in our Drunk on Geology series is Marc Mondavi's The Divining Rod Chardonnay by The Divining Rod wines.
A "divining rod" is a "magical" stick, often in the shape of an "L", that helps the user find various things under the ground's surface including (most commonly) water, but also oil, gold, gems, etc. It is considered a "pseudoscience", since it doesn't involve an evidence based system of determination and instead uses the user's "feelings" to determine where to find what they are looking for.
Even though the divining rod is basically guesswork at it's most glorified, it could be considered the first step along a long road for humanity to determine how to accurately and repeatedly find the location of valuable underground commodities, such as water and petroleum. It is a first step to the scientific method for exploration (try, repeat, doesn't work, move on to a new method).
A divining rod, also known as a dowsing rod, had been supplemented today with modern geological techniques that help up understand the rocks and soil beneath our feet. Various tools including, drilling wells, fossil identification, seismic imaging, gamma rays, and a wide variety of other tools, help us to visualize the Earth. Combining this information with a complete understanding of plate tectonics and hydrocarbon formations allows us a modern day "dowsing rod", where we can more accurately determine the depths and locations of many underground "cash crops" including drinking water, petroleum, and precious metals.
"Marc Mondavi grew up in the Napa Valley learning about vineyards and winemaking. As a teenager he discovered he possessed an unexpected, mysterious talent - the ability to locate underground water using divining rods. This gift earned him the title "Water Witch" and enabled him to plant great vineyards throughout California. In fact, some claim that he "turns water into wine." To honor this often misunderstood art and the instruments that harness this power, Marc presents The Divining Rod wines - wines made possible by the natural and perhaps the supernatural!"
A pair of divining rods sport the top of the wine bottle.
Although the divining rod is an arcane method of water location identification, it is important to understand where we came from as a species and how far we have evolved. From using essentially guesswork to being able to accurately pinpoint oil, gas, and water reserves, the divining rod was the first step along a very long road.