Contents: Spring Wine Club, Tasting Room Open, Looming Drought, Small Verse
Spring Wine Club, Doppel Offer
I can't remember a time when so many of our wines were tasting as wonderful as they are right now. Maybe it's the warm spring weather. Or maybe our senses are heightened by optimism that better times lie ahead.
Our Rangeland spring Wine Club selection has several delicious new releases, detailed below. If you are a six bottle or case club member, we are offering an additional 10% off with $1 shipping if you double your order. For example, a 6-bottle, 20% discount Estate Club member would get a full case at 30% off, a savings of about $40 on that case of wine, plus shipping savings. Please let us know by email if you'd like to double your club order.
We will start billling the wine club April 15 and your shipment will be available for pickup starting April 20. We will begin to ship wine clubs the week of April 26. Here are the wines we are planning to include:
- 2020 Flora Rosé* - new release! (or 2018 Zinfandel for reds only members)
- 2016 Limestone Reserve Cabernet* (94 pts)
- 2017 Watershed-new!
- 2017 Ultramafic Merlot*-new!
- 2017 Petite Sirah*
- 2018 Shepherd GSM-new!
*denotes 4-bottle Intro Club selection
Please let us know by email if you'd like to customize your spring shipment. All the available wines are listed here. Please update your credit card and shipping information, if necessary, at www.RangelandWines.com. You can use your email address to retrieve your login password.
Tasting Room Open
We continue to offer outdoor tasting Thursday to Monday, with charcuterie plates available, 11 to 5. We are serving our estate grown grass-fed burgers every Saturday and Sunday, 11 to 4. Reservations recommended.
Anxious Spring as Drought Looms
We have had only 1.5 inches of rainfall since January's atmospheric river walloped us with 15 inches in two days. Our total for the rainfall year (July 1 to June 30) is just 18.5 inches, or 54% of average. Cal Poly San Luis Obispo recorded the driest back-to-back Februarys in 152 years of rainfall records. Our central coast region is officially classified as abnormally dry. Much of the rest Califorinia, which did not benefit from a direct hit by the January storm, is already in drought.
So although the hills are green with new grass and fresh oak leaves, we are worried about the looming drought conditions. The grape vines will do fine this year and we have ample irrigation water from a full lake--the one pictured on our wine label. But we will pay higher electrical bills to pump the water to our drip irrigated vines and more labor to monitor and maintain the system.
The cattle and sheep operation is much more impacted by the drought. Our pastures germinated late due to dry and cold conditions. We also lost access to hundreds of acres of neighboring leased pasture over the last couple of years. So we are supplementing our livestock's grass-fed diet with daily rations of expensive hay. We are planning a herd reduction and hoping to hang on to enough cows to keep our beef club viable in the years ahead.
The ranchers life...is not all work and worry though. I get to spend time working outdoors, close to nature, in one the most beautiful places on earth. Here is a little poem I wrote recently to savor one crystaline moment. I call this one:
Fat doves squat fluffy in the warm gravel road
Great gnarled oaks unfurl their fresh leaves
Silvery green in the morning mist
White tattered feathers of fog part ragged
Revealing the topaz immensity of the California sky
Below is a glimpse into the management style of your slightly deranged Rangeland rancher and vintner. I recently sent this email to my ranch manager.
I write to you from a hospital bed in Templeton. This saga began about 6pm yesterday when I went to grab the Ram pickup to feed the sheep.
When I started to load the hay, I found to my dismay and consternation, the tailgate latch handle entirely missing. So I soldiered ahead by loading the 100 lb hay bale _over_ the tailgate. Onward to the sheep, where I climbed up into the truck to toss hay into the pen. I noticed that, between the alfalfa and bare metal pickup bed, I had quite the skating rink underfoot. I also noticed the hay hooks could be stowed more safely. No problem, I surmised, I can handle this. The first flake-toss went smoothly. On the second toss, however, my feet started to go. Soon I was high stepping like Charlie Chaplin on methamphetamine, trying to regain my footing. Then my feet went high and my ass low as I flopped with clunk and a meaty stabbing sound, flat to the truck bed with a hay hook buried in my back.
At this point, I was disoriented from shock and feeling somewhat uncomfortable from the do-dad stuck between my back ribs. I was having trouble catching my breath, probably due to my collapsed lung. I worked my way upright, lowered myself gingerly from the truck bed and began to walk for home. I hadn't gone far when my greatest fear, my worst nightmare was realized. I was slammed forward to the ground from behind.
I saw stars as I hit the ground and felt the gravel grind my forehead to the bone. My limbs and back were being gripped and clawed by four slashing paws of a big cat while his full weight drove the hay hook deeper and pinned me to the ground. The hook ground noticeably against my ribs and perforated my innards further. The cougar's teeth hammered my skull and gnawed relentlessly as I struggled to free my leatherman and open the blade. After a long wrestle, I was able to roll over to my back and--onto the hay hook! The new pain caused me to lurch and scream maniacally as I faced the cat for the first time. Startled by my convulsions, he whipped his blood and slobber-soaked muzzle from side to side, bearing his huge choppers in a blood soaked, demonic snarl. I was exploding now with adrenaline, I jabbed my thumb into his left eye socket while I drove my trusty steel into his neck, just below the powerful jaw. Hot blood burst from his neck and I soon felt the life recede from his powerful body. The lion gurgled his last as I heaved his carcass to the side and lurched to my feet. I staggered home and passed out at Lisa's feet.
The doctors sewed me up with 171 stitches. They think my lung and ruptured liver (toughened by years of enthusiastic alcohol consumption) will eventually heal. Lisa may never forgive me about the blood stains on her white leather Tesla interior as she rushed me to the ER.
This story is based on a real event. The tailgate latch on the pickup was broken. All other events are an elaboration on this rock solid foundation of truth. The moral of this story is, you should always tell your boss if something is broken and see that it is repaired in a timely fashion.
Adelaida Springs Ranch, home of preposterously good Rangeland wines and meats
At Rangeland, we often say that our wines are "field crafted." Although indoors winemaking is important, our wine really is grounded in the vineyard, where we grow our delicious grapes. The diverse soils, warm climate, high elevation, southwest facing aspect and coastward location are all particularly special at our Adelaida Springs Ranch estate vineyard, but the human component is just as important. There are 7 critical stages in the yearly life cycle of our vineyard that require management: pruning, bud break, shoot thinning, bloom, canopy management, veraison and harvest.
Pruning: While They are Sleeping...
Grapevines are annual plants that shed their leaves in the autumn and fall dormant each winter. They store carbohydrates in their roots, which provide the energy needed to grow in the coming season. We leave the last year's fruiting canes on the vine until they are pruned in February or even March. Pruning involves hand clipping last year's shoots down to neat little spur positions. Since we have about 40,000 vines on 40 acres, and each vine has about 20+ canes, it takes a contract labor crew of a dozen skilled workers about two weeks to complete the job. We also reposition miles of trellis wire lower on their stakes, so they are available to gather the foliage later in the season.
Bud break: Rebirth
We leave about 12 spur positions on each vine and each spur has two or three buds. These buds, formed the previous year, will be the start of this year's crop. They open up and sprout leaves in the first few weeks of spring. This is what we call "bud break." The vines are coming out of a long winter's nap and starting the yearly cycle. Each bud will grow a 3-4 foot, hopefully fruit-bearing cane, in the coming months.
Shoot Thinning: Taming the Beast
Grapevines are prolific. Despite careful pruning, a healthy vine wants to push extra shoots out, to grow more grapes and seeds for birds (and other critters) to eat, spread and reproduce. So each May, "we" (our labor crew/small army) thin shoots by gently breaking off all of those excess shoots on every plant by hand, allowing the vine to focus its energy on the choice remaining growth. Fine wine grapes need a rough balance between leaves (that act like ripening solar panels) and fruit.
Bloom and Set: Heaven Scent
Grapevines bloom in the warm sunshine of May and the scent is subtly heavenly. We hope mother nature cooperates with mild weather that allows the grapes to form properly. The vines “set” little shot size berries on those flower/grape clusters in June. At this time of year, we begin irrigation if necessary and try to keep the weeds (competition) under control through tillage—no herbicides!
Canopy Management: Training the Ballerina
Once the canes are fully grown by about the 4th of July, we have to manage them. First, we need to be able to get the tractor down each row, so we lift the shoots with trellis wires. And secondly, we want the grapes to get enough sunlight to develop color and tannins, but we don't want sunburn or shrivel. We flop and fluff the canopy on the sunny morning side to provide some speckled shade. On the shadier afternoon side, we pin the shoots all the way up with wires to get better sun exposure. Our vines end up looking like a ballerina with one arm stretched gracefully to the side. It is not a perfect science, but we strive for fruit intensity and complexity through sun exposure.
Veraison: The Blushing Change
Red wine veraison is when the grapes darken and soften. The fruit’s acidity starts to decline and harvest is only 4-6 weeks away. This is a major change, much like puberty for an adolescent, and this is when character and flavor starts to develop. After 2-3 weeks, we do what's called a "green drop", when anything that hasn't turned color yet, is dropped on the ground. This helps the vineyard ripen uniformly. It allows the vine to concentrate its ripening power on the remaining fruit.
Harvest: Off to College
Harvest is the time when the parent vine ships their little grape children off to college so they can learn what they were meant to become! We start measuring grape sugar content and acidity in August, but ultimately I decide when to pick based on fruit flavor. This usually occurs in September and through the middle of October. We hand harvest all of our grapes, and I’m on almost every pick. While the grapes are being picked into the bins, I am standing on the trailer pulling out leaves and under-ripe fruit, while tasting the grapes to see what I want to do with them once they get to the winery. For instance, if there is a lot of tannin in the skins, I might decide to do gentle pump-over during fermentation instead of a more extractive punch down.
Art and Science
This is, of course just a glimpse at the process. Growing good grapes and making fine wine involves a lot technical knowledge and measurement. But ultimately the process is so complex—Laird calls it kaleidoscopic—that the key decisions are artistic. That suits me very well.
We are releasing our latest Flora Rosé this week, just in time for Valentine's Day. This pale pink, aromatic and refreshing rosé is a blend of Merlot, Zinfandel and Grenache. Our 11th annual Flora Rosé botanical label features a lupine commonly found in Paso Robles and throughout California (Lupinus Polyphyllus). It's a beautiful bottle, a lovely wine, and would make a special gift for someone you love. Checkout our new Rangeland logotype!
Our Flora Rosé retails for $24, but from now until the end of February, we are offering the following specials with $1 shipping (coupon code $1ship). All prices before club discount:
We usually sell out of this wine in the summer, so stock up now and save!
Vacation Rental Available in March
We are booked for February and April, but have a few openings in March. That's a beautiful time of year to visit Paso--so green! This cozy cottage (3 BR, 2 BA, sleeps six), is quiet and comfortable, with good wifi service making it an ideal place to work from "home." Check out availability and see more details here.
Tasting Room Now Open for Wine Tasting Outdoors
California has lifted the stay at home order, so we are now open for outdoor tasting Thursday to Monday, 11-5. Charcuterie plates are available for purchase now and burger service will start again soon (more on that later). Make an appointment here and dress warmly!
Our drought busted wide open Tuesday night and an atmospheric river swept in. We've had a record 15 inches of rainfall in the last 48 hours and it's still raining! We are giddy with relief and storm fever. The creeks are roaring in the coastal mountains. There are some big oaks down, including one that squashed the (empty) chicken coop at the tasting room, much to the alarm of our vacation rental guests. We're grateful no major damage has occurred. Check out the before (January 26) and after (January 28) pictures of the lake at the foot of our vineyard.
Contents: Accolades, Lockdown Specials Countdown, Tasting Room Bottle Purchases
Wine Enthusiast: Straight "A"s for Rangeland
We recently received a pre-publication notice that Wine Enthusiast magazine has rated the following Rangeland Wines:
- 2016 Limestone Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Adelaida District, 94 points. New release!
- 2016 The Watershed Bordeaux-style Red Blend Adelaida District, 94 points
- 2019 Sauvignon Blanc Adelaida District, 91 points
Of course we are very gratified by these 94 point ratings, which are the highest ever for our Cabernet based wines. The 2016 vintage started with very high hopes but took us on a roller coaster plunge when we discovered some smoky aromas and flavors (after bottling!) from the influence of the local, 46,000 acre Chimney Fire. You may remember the smoke-influenced 2016 Mistletoe, which we sold out some time ago at "fire sale" prices. The ripe and powerful 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon (not rated by the Enthusiast) has been a Rangeland family favorite for some time, with no hint of smoke. The Watershed has had a cultish following among our customers for many years, so the 2016 score crowns an obvious champion. Our recent tastings of the 2016 Limestone Reserve raised eyebrows and provoked hedonistic grins. We are super excited about this flagship wine, which is tasting great and should age for a decade or more. Winemaker Paul Hinscherger describes:
Crimson colored and tenaciously focused, this 2016 Limestone is one for the ages. The aroma captivates your senses with dusty cherry, oregano, cigar box, and saffron. Fine tannins and integral acidity accentuates flavors of black currant, plum, graphite, and chocolate. It is sultry, and complex—and definitely deserves to be decanted. 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. Aged 20 months in 50% new French oak, 50% once used French oak
Lockdown Specials Expire January 31
Our Lockdown Specials will last only through the end of January. That means you can order all of our current wines, including our high scoring beauties, as follows:
- Order any 3 bottles (you can mix and match) of Rangeland's current selection for $99, just $33 per bottle before your club discount with $1 shipping. Order by email so we can put your special order together with correct pricing.
- Order any 6 bottles (you can mix and match) of Rangeland's current selection for $180, just $30 per bottle before your club discount with $1 shipping. Order by email so we can put your special order together with correct pricing.
- Order any 12 bottles (you can mix and match) of Rangeland's current selection for $300, just $25 per bottle before your club discount with $1 shipping. Order by email so we can put your special order together with correct pricing.
These may the finest wines available anywhere at these prices, but we wanted to reward our longtime and loyal customers before the world rushes in. Thanks for your support!
Tasting Room Bottle Purchases
Currently we are open for wine bottle and case sales, Thursday to Monday, 11-5. Make an appointment here.
Contents: Lockdown Wine Specials, Tasting Room Update, Rental Cottage Offers
Lockdown Wine Specials
Well it's a New Year but it looks like same ol', same ol" here in Cali as we enter the tenth month of gruesome (rhymes with?) controls over our civil liberties and commercial freedoms. We are also facing a very droughty start to our annual rainy season. We've had only 1.5 inches of rain so far. No green grass has started on our beautiful hills and there is no precip in the forecast. So we are feeding our cattle hay, thinking about winter vineyard irrigation and hoping for wet weather. Tough times at Calamity Ranch. I was going to buy a helicopter to keep up with Kevin Costner in Yellowstone, but I guess that will have to wait! Thing is, we still have our sense of humor, and a cellar full of wine to send to you, so check out these specials.
To stoke the lagging fires of Rangeland commerce during a slow time and, most importantly, to brighten your table and outlook, we are offering our most flexible wine special ever:
Order any 3 bottles of Rangeland's current selection for $99, just $33 per bottle before your club discount with $1 shipping. Order by email so we can put your special order together with correct pricing.
Order any 6 bottles of Rangeland's current selection for $180, just $30 per bottle before your club discount with $1 shipping. Order by email so we can put your special order together with correct pricing.
Order any 12 bottles of Rangeland's current selection for $300, just $25 per bottle before your club discount with $1 shipping. Order by email so we can put your special order together with correct pricing.
Tasting Room Update: Pick Ups Only for Now
Currently we are open for wine pick ups only, Thursday to Monday, 11-5. Make an appointment here. We hope to have more news for you soon about retarting on-site wine consumption and food service.
Vineyard View Cottage Offers
Our beautiful and secluded Vineyard View Cottage (sleeps 6) has many open dates in the next couple of months, so break away from the grind and enjoy the quiet. Stay at our home away from home. Good wifi service makes remote work possible. For booking dates through the end of February, we are offering:
- 3 nights for the price of two; $400 weekend nights/$350 week nights, before club discount.
- One week (7 nights) for the price of 4 nights.
Check out availabilty and see more details here.
In this issue: Wine Specials, Beef Specials, Holiday Hours, Ode to Harvest
What a year. What a world! Now the holidays are upon us. Time to savor the good things, celebrate our health, connect with loved ones, mourn our losses and give thanks. See the end of this letter for my musings on another completed harvest.
2017 MISTLETOE CASE SALE--THE PERFECT HOLIDAY GIFT
Admit it, you've been good this year. So take advantage of this deal and give yourself a case of 2017 Mistletoe, our delicious Cab/Syrah blend. At just $300/case (that's before your club discount), you can also take care of everyone on your Christmas list. $1 shipping (use coupon code $1ship). Order here.
THREE 2016 CABS
Cabernet pairs so beautifully with the rich hearty meals of winter. We're offering a special on our 2016 Cabernet: 3 bottles for $99. Save $20 before club discounts and just $1 shipping (use coupon code $1ship). Order here.
RED AND WHITE GIFT SPECIAL
For loved ones who are "Rangeland worthy", how about two bottles of fine wine: one 2017 Mistletoe and one 2019 Sauvignon Blanc, for $50 before club discounts and just $1 shipping (use coupon code $1ship). Order here.
BEEF SPECIAL: $1 SHIPPING
Hard-to-shop-for, but important people on your holiday gift list? How about a 10 pound box of grass-fed ground beef ($110) or 20 pounds ($190). Or go all-in for a 25 lb. beef club box of mixed cuts (steaks, roasts, ground and extras, $300). You're giving the gift of health--delicious, nutrient-rich grass-fed beef--and a gift that will be enjoyed well into next year. Club discounts apply. $1 shipping (use coupon code $1ship). We will ship all meat orders in January, after the holiday package rush, but we can send a gift card for you in December. Place your order here.
We are closed Thanksgiving Day, November 26. We'll be open Friday Novebmer 27 through Monday November 30, 11 to 5, as usual. Our grass-fed hamburger service will shift to Friday November 27 and Saturday the 28th, from 11 to 4, just for the holday weekend. After Thanksgiving, normal Saturday and Sunday burger service will continue through the year end, weather permitting. We are limited to outdoor tasting, by appointment.
CHRISTMAS HOLIDAY HOURS
We are closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, and New Year's Eve and New Year's Day. We'll be open for business the rest of the holiday, our regular hours, 11-5 Thursday - Monday. Please make a reservation.
ODE TO HARVEST
At grape harvest time, my wife Lisa works a couple of days a week helping winemaker Paul and intern Luke sort fruit and clean the winery equipment. The boys work intermittently in great bursts, ebbing and flowing with the ripening waves of fruit. Starting in the pre-dawn and sometimes lasting into the night: they are sampling, picking, trucking, processing, punching down, pressing and barreling down. Lisa also does "the usual": bookkeeping, wine deliveries and cleaning of the greathouse, cleaning my clothes and soothing my ego. She does all that when she is not cooking meals for the crew in the winery or for friends in need or for her husband. This is not an elegy. It's a fond observation.
I am too caught up in the business of "digital ranching" to really engage with the dusty boot work of harvest, the greasy tractors and endless tons of sticky fruit. After years of hands-on farming, now I just drop in and kibbitz the operation. I may pull an all-nighter when the hand-picked bins are stacked 25 deep, 1000 pounds at a time and the LED lights flare out over the hilly oak woodland, but that is a rare occurrence anymore. As Head Coach, I mostly try to keep our little team on track with sage advice and the occasional rebuke--while I try to keep my own shit together.
Agriculture is like any other business, but when you are caught up in it, it seems deeper. Even winegrowing (essential work?) carries this aura, this burden, this gift. The life and deathiness of agriculture is inescapable. Of course with livestock, but also with wine. The annual march of vintages. The deep rooted perennial plants. Maybe farming is more nourishing, intoxicating and more punishing than other kinds of work, although I'm sure many soldiers, nurses and others would disagree. Like all forms of devotion, we make it work and make it hurt. We cannot avoid overdoing it. The season requires it. So does our driven nature. Good abuse like this, so meaningful and earth-bound, is truly hard to find.
Harvest is a time of natural culmination and profound gathering. At harvest time I think about my fellow farmers and all their struggles, their mortgages, their children, their heads-in-hands moments and their quiet sunrises. I smile about their fat year surplus. When the fires sweep over the hills, I am singed by their losses. Involuntarily, I brace for my own fiery reckoning. At harvest time, I taste my accumulating years like bones in the savory broth of time.
Contents: Fall Wine Club, Doppel Club offer, Lamb Club, Free Lunch "Party", Harvest Fest, Toots-a-Loo!
Wine Club + Doppel Offer
Harvest is in full swing under hot, smoky conditions. Winemaker Paul, harvest intern Luke and vineyard manager Eusebio are hard at it, while I kibbitz the operation. With 25 tons of grapes fermenting in the winery and more picked every day, we are almost over the harvest hump.
So it must be time to announce our fall Wine Club selection, detailed below. If you are a six bottle or more club member, we are offering an additional 10% off with $1 shipping if you double your order. For example, a 6-bottle, 20% off Estate Club member would get a full case at 30% off, a discount of about $40 on that case of wine, plus shipping savings. If you would like to take advantage of this offer to stockpile a little wine for the holidays, please email us.
We will start billling the wine club October 22, but they are available for pickup now. We will ship wine clubs starting November 2. Here is the fall selection:
- 2019 Sauvignon Blanc* - new release!
- (or 2016 Ultramafic for reds only members)
- 2016 Cabernet*
- 2017 Mistletoe
- 2017 Petite Sirah*
- 2016 The Shepherd - new!, 96 points, double gold from Sunset Magazine
- 2016 Watershed*
*denotes 4-bottle intro club selection
Please let us know by email if you'd like to customize your fall shipment. All the available wines are listed here. Please update your credit card and shipping information, if necessary, at www.RangelandWines.com. You can use your email address to retrieve your password to login.
Our fall Lamb Club is harvested and packed. We'll be billing Lamb Club on October 15. You can pick up your shipment beginning Monday, October 19 at J&R in Paso and we'll be shipping that same day. Shipping orders will get an email notice beforehand. Please make an appointment if you'd like to pick up your lamb at the tasting room. Update your info online, clear out your freezer and get ready for this savory, sustainably raised lamb.
Club Member Appreciation Pickup "Party":
The Free Lunch!
Since we are unable to hold our traditional pick up party, we are inviting all of our club members (wine, beef and lamb) to a enjoy a truly free lunch on Sundays only: October 25, November 1, 8 and 15. Each Intro (4 bottle) or Estate (6 bottle), Beef or Lamb Club membership will entitle you to one free grass-fed burger or bowl of chili, a side dish and a “Lisa cookie” on these dates. Case Club (12 bottle) members and "Doppel" fall wine club orders can receive two free lunches. Reservations are required.
Paso Robles Harvest Festival is October 16-18, and we will be open and serving our grass-fed burgers as usual, Saturdays and Sundays only, from 11-4. There may even be a lamb burger on the menu! We expect to still be serving outside only, with social distancing measures in place. Please make an appointment here. You may even get a peak at the 2020 wines being processed in the winery-- a bright spot in this crazy year. We look forward to seeing you!
The Legend of "Toots-a-Loo!"
As many of our longtime customers know, I like to inject a little revealing humor into our newsletter. Well, this little ditty is on the top of my stack lately.
Some of my kids were visiting recently. We were all sitting around the dinner table after a little bit of wine and the conversation took a dark turn about aging and vulnerabililty. Have you noticed how often that happens since the VIRUS has been with us? Anyway, somehow the conversation focused on me, Daddy, and the kids started talking gleefully about what a hideous curr I will become if incapacitated in my (current) old age.
I did not deny this. My record as an occasional patient is a stark monument to profanity, non-cooperation and narcissitc self-absorption bordering on hypochondriacal hysteria. Nevertheless, even Trump deserves a little empathy for his mania and current illness. So I was looking desperately around the table for a little mock sympatico. My eyes settled on my wife Lisa, who was positively bubbling with good humor.
Lisa is widely known for her nurturing and compassionate behavior. She donates children's books to libraries. She helps the developmentally disabled. Except for me. She is constantly cooking meals for the sick and bereft. Her plates of cookies flow like a beneficent Niagara of sweet flavors and tidings. She is a substantional source of sunshine and good cheer to all who know her. Well, almost all. She is my rock and my muse. So I was expecting her to come to my defense at any moment against the Spawn, when she volunteered the following observation: "Well, if it comes down to having to change dad's diapers, it's toots-a-loo for me, kids!"
While my mouth hung open in gap-toothed amazement, the rest of the family was pounding the table and laughing like a bunch of berserk chimpanzees. To amplify this insulting and profoundly hurtful interlude, my eldest son began to explain how "Although Dad is pretty funny sometimes, he tries way too hard. But Mom hangs back and then hits you with a humor bomb like "Toots-a-loo!" She's the really funny one."
Now I hear "toots-a-loo" all the time from my loved ones. Over and over again. So I admit it. I'm a bad patient. I'm cantankerous. I'm destined to be abandoned in my dotage by my laughing wife and kids. I'll be left to die at the hands of a busty Nurse Rachet (it's my dark fantasy!) in the wild Adelaida hills. My grave will be trampled by the very livestock I bred. No, I mean husbanded. I mean.... Oh you know what I mean! I'll be dug up by wild animals. My rotting carcass will be torn limb from limb by a pack coyotes competing to digest my withered remains. Clearly, I try way too hard. And I'm not even very funny.
Contents: GSM Accolades, Wine Specials, Beef, Contentment?
The Shepherd GSM Goes Double Gold
Imagine a mostly humble shepherd with a long crook and a dark wooly beard. He has a big smile on his face and two shiny gold medals hanging around his neck, glinting in the sun. That would be our winemaker Paul Hinschberger after learning that our 2017 The Shepherd, Rangeland's first true GSM since 2013, had been awarded 96 points and a double gold medal in the Sunset International Wine Competition.
Our 2017 The Shepherd ($40 list price) is dark, aromatic, fruity and complex. It compares favorably with many presitigous central coast Rhone blends that can cost twice as much. We are pouring this wine now in the tasting room. Outdoor service only. Just 195 cases made. Order here.
Wine Specials: 2017 Mistletoe and 2016 Cabernet
The 2017 Mistletoe may be the best rendition yet of our Cab/Syrah blend, showing a beautiful balance between new-world fruit and old-world minerality. We are offering this outstanding wine at $300 a case ($25 per bottle) before club discount with $1 shipping. An Estate wine or beef club member price, including the 20% discount, would be $20 per bottle. Case quantities only. Order here.
Rangeland 2016 Cabernet has been a favorite in the tasting room all summer. It is a fun, suave and fruity Cab, owing to a 10% share of Merlot and an opulently ripe 2016 vintage. But this is also a dark, complex and age worthly Cabernet Sauvignon. We are offering 3 bottles of this outstanding wine at $99, before club discounts, with $1 shipping. Order here.
Grassfed Beef and Burgers
We still have some delicious, nutritious grassfed beef available in 25 lb. boxes of mixed cuts, as well as 10 lb and 20 lb boxes of ground beef. Order here.
We are serving hamburgers with our Rangeland estate grassfed beef every Saturday and Sunday at the tasting room, 11 to 4. Outdoor seating only due to Covid restrictions. Make an appointment to join us.
The Summer of our Discontent, Or?
Harvest is upon us and we are bringing some white and rosé fruit into the winery this week. Despite a recent heat spike, growing conditions have been good this year and we look forward to a fine vintage. At this tipping point of a difficult year, I am encouraged to both reminisce and look ahead. Despite inglorious lightning fires, smoky air, the Covid, shifting government regulation, sleepy and crazy presidential candidates, as well as unjust and riotous behavior all around, I think it's been a pretty good summer. Don't you? There is a lot that we don't control but life goes on. We count our blessings and appreciate our good health when we have it. We do our work. We take care of our families. We contribute. We try to eat better food and enjoy our wine. Society has many ties (governments, businesses, churches and clubs) but it boils down to the individual to move it forward. By personal example, we can keep society more pleasant, safe and productive. "Every heart vibrates to that iron string." When I see you with a smile, a few friends, a grassfed hamburger and a bottle of Rangeland, it encourages me that we are doing something simple but worthwhile. Your good humor in the face of uncertainty demonstrates the strength of our society and values. Rally forward. Look to a healthy, robust and more just future. Cheers!
Keep up to date on the latest wine releases, events, and promotions and get 10% off your next order.