Harvest 2021, Game On
Do you ever feel trampled by the March of Time? Seems like we were just settling into summer, now our 2021 wine harvest has arrived! The Sauvignon Blanc grapes we purchase from Parrish Family Vineyards will be picked next Monday. Red varieties from our Adelaida Springs Ranch estate vineyard will start coming in the first half of September. So begins a 6 to 8 week harvest cycle that usually includes some long, anxious interludes of anticipation punctuated by peak days of overwork. Despite drought conditions, the vines are thriving and the crop looks good. We'll see what else Mother Nature serves us this year.
Wine Special: 10% Off 6+ Bottles of Cabernet
Cabernet Sauvignon comprises half of our 40 acre Adelaida Springs Ranch estate vineyard. Dark, energetic, and complex, Cabernet is the foundation and pivot point for several Rangeland wines, including our:
- 2017 Limestone Reserve Cabernet (100% Cab), $50
- 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon (93% Cab), $40
- 2017 Watershed Bordeaux-style blend (32% Cab), $40, 91 points, Wine Enthusiast
- 2018 Mistletoe (35% Cab + Syrah and more), 95 points, Sunset International Wine Competion, $29
As autumn nears, we start dreaming about savory, oven braised lamb stews and beef briskets--paired with Cabernet. Enable your dreams with the purchase of any six or more bottles of these Cabernet-based wines and receive 10% off your order (in addition to your club discount) and $1 shipping. You can mix and match. The special runs through September. Order by email.
Introducing Alex Kemp, Rangeland Winemaker
Our former winemaker Paul Hinschberger and his young family have moved to Hood River, Oregon. Paul leaves behind a six year saga of 90+ wine scores and many fond memories for Rangeland's crew and customers.
We are excited to introduce our new winemaker, Alex Kemp, formerly the assistant winemaker at Denner Vineyards. Alex studied wine and viticulture at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. He is a ten year veteran of Paso harvests, having interned or worked at Eberle, Sextant, Brecon and Alta Colina. He has also worked harvests on a few continents, including Australia, New Zealand, and South America. You will notice his intensity and enthusiasm right away. Welcome aboard Alex for harvest 2021!
Fall Event Schedule
We are planning for fall events, hoping the world continues to right itself. Here's what's on the calendar:
Harvest Festival, October 15-17, 11-5
We'll be serving grass-fed beef and lamb sliders on Saturday and Sunday only from 11 to 4. Charcuterie plates are available every day. We'll be pouring some new wine releases too--maybe even a barrel sample. Make a reservation now as this is always a busy weekend. We look forward to seeing you!
Full Moon Dinner, October 23, 6-9 pm
We'll be hosting another full moon dinner at the Rangeland tasting room. The menu will feature our delicious, homegrown, grass-fed beef and lamb, as well as tasty sausage and smoked meats from J&R Meats. All paired with Rangeland wines, of course. Seating is limited. Buy a ticket here. $100 per guest.
Fall Pick-up Party, Saturday November 13, Noon to 2pm
It's been a couple of years since our last fall pick-up party, and we've missed this annual gathering. We'll be serving a buffet of treats in the winery: our grass-fed beef chili, some delicious charcuterie, grilled lamb, and Lisa's famous cookies, of course. We'll be pouring the Fall Wine Club lineup (more on that later), so you can taste, fall in love, and add to your order when you pick up your shipment. Reservations will be required, and space is limited. Save the date and watch our next newsletter for reservation details.
Contents: Beef Club, Mistletoe Scores, Dinner Event, Big Three-Hearted Oak
Beef Club in Process, Price Increase
As we sort our cuts and pack our beef club boxes for the 12th year, I am reminded how priviliged we are to grow this wonderful food. We start with well-bred Angus cattle grazing naturally in our home pasture. This produces intensely flavorful and nutritious grass-fed meat that we are happy to eat and proud to serve and sell.
Despite a heavy storm in January, our rainfall was only about half of average this year. Due to drought conditions that limited forage, we've had to reduce our herd and supplement with expensive hay. So we have to raise our prices to sustain our beef production. With this shipment you will see your 25 lb. beef club box rise to $280 (up from $240). The list price of our 25 lb box is now $350, before club discounts. Even with the price increase, club members pay just $11.20 per lb. for this estate raised beef. Order here.
We will be billing our beef club members next week. If you need to update your shipping or billing info, please log into RangelandWines.com. Club pickups begin July 1 at J&R Meats in Paso. Or you can make an appointment to pickup at the Rangeland tasting room by emailing tasting room manager Michelle Minton. We will begin shipping the Beef Club July 12.
Double Gold for Rangeland, Again!
Our 2018 Mistletoe ($29) was blessed with a double gold medal and a 95 point score in the Sunset International Wine Competition. Mistletoe is an utterly Paso blend that includes Cabernet, Syrah, Petite Verdot and Grenache. It's one of the great values in the world of wine. Our 2017 Limestone Reserve Cabernet and 2018 Shepherd blend of Rhone varieties (Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre) also received gold medals and 90 point scores in this competition. Congrats to Winemaker Paul Hinschberger. You can order these wines here.
Full Moon Dinner July 24
As we ease back to normal, we are beginning to plan events again. We started the Full Moon Dinner series last year because we noticed that our wines show beautifully at this time. We will be hosting an evening dinner on the lawn of the Rangeland tasting room on July 24 from 6:30 to 9:30. The meal will feature our estate-grown beef and lamb, paired with a stellar (lunar?) line up of Rangeland Wines. Tickets are $90 before club discounts. Order here.
Big Three-Hearted Oak Table
Some of you will remember the huge oak tree that came down in the spring of 2019, just after our last Field Day event. The massive deadfall trunk still lays behind the barn near the tasting room. We had a slice cut out of the stump with a 7 foot chainsaw and made into a massive pub table, which is now on display in our tasting room. It reveals a triple trunked tree with three conjoined hearts. Its compoundly concentric whorls are profoundly beautiful and complex. A rough count of the tree rings indicates the tree was 130 years old when it fell. That means it was a sappling at about the time the train line was first extended south through the Salinas Valley to Templeton. So much has happened since then, both locally and the world over, that we have to call it a true heritage oak. I become reverent and a little wistful in the presence of such a durable, natural reminder of passing time. Stop and pay it homage, the next time you visit Rangeland, and let your conjoined heart swell.
Contents: Fresh New Wine, Doppel Deja Vu, Wine Fest Goodies, Spring Abundance
Announcing El Joven 2020, A Fresh Red Wine
Our winemaker Paul Hinschberger has a new brainchild, inspired by young, unaged Spanish reds (vino joven). These wines are meant to be consumed within 18 months of harvest, traditionally with a casual lunch or picnic. I like the way these Spaniards think: wine for lunch! We are calling our 2020 red blend El Joven (80% merlot, 20% petit verdot, aged 4 months in concrete, screwcap closure). Rough translation: the youngster. Recently bottled, it is tasting as fresh, fruity and lively as the name suggests, with a depth of savory expression that is surprising for a mere wine child. We begin pouring it at the tasting room this week. I've successfully paired El Joven with Rangeland grass-fed beef tacos and with Lisa's wonderful tortilla chicken soup. We love this wine but we are pricing it for early and frequent enjoyment at $20 per bottle before club discounts. Order here. We are also offering an introductory special at $200 per 12 bottle case before discounts. Order by the case here. A wine for the people!
Doppel Deja Vu, New Members Also Invited
It's been a few weeks since most of you received your wine club shipments. You've probably torn into the goodie box and glugged a couple (all?) of your favorites already. So if any of you would like to reorder your club shipment and double it, we are offering an additoinal 10% discount off your usual price. Please note that the 2016 Limestone Reserve Cabenet has sold out, so we'll have to substitute the very nice 2017 Cabernet for that wine. If you haven't yet joined the club, we are extending this offering to new members. You can join the 6 bottle Estate Wine Club (normally a 20% discount) and get a case for 30% off. El Joven is not eligible for the Doppel Club discount. Email Michelle if you want to reorder and double your wine club.
Wine Fest, Butter and Garlic
Paso Robles Wine Festival is this weekend, May 20-23. On Saturday and Sunday, we will be serving a special menu of ranch oak barbecued grass-fed beef tri tip or grass-fed lamb sandwiches on toasted sourdough which has been drown-ded (that's a technical culinary term) in garlic butter. We are heavily booked on Saturday but we have some openings on Sunday. Reserve your seating for an outdoor tasting and food here.
As the grass dries and the season turns toward a likely hot and droughty summer here in Paso Robles, I am reflecting on a spring that was extraordinarily rich in gifts. Spring on the ranch is a fecund time of baby calves and lambs, new green leaves, blooming grapevines and fields of wildflowers. This season seemed especially refulgent as society reopened and the threat of disease began to fade. Happy exposed faces with big smiles are once again becoming the norm as we ease back into freedom.
On a personal note, our eldest son Samuel married his lovely bride Samantha (yup, that's Sam + Sam) on a beautiful April day at the ranch. My son Jackson and daughter Angie (both sometime denizens of the tasting room) were in the small wedding party. All performed with a grace and maturity that left me spellbound and humbled. After hearing the heartfelt and devoted vows, I confessed to Sam that it was a shock for me to realize that he is possibly more of a grown-up than I am. He smiled and said, "Dad, I've known this for a long time." Touché Foshay! Well, we can't be grown-up all the time. So I lost my shit as usual on the wedding dance floor. They had to help me up and retriieve my reading glasses after the "gator." I have been recovering ever since. Click here for a slideshow of spring images, including some short videos, from Rangeland.
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
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.
Keep up to date on the latest wine releases, events, and promotions and get 10% off your next order.