Without a challenge, life is simply not very interesting. Walking through the vine rows on the Olive Hill, the skies overhead a brilliant crystal blue, the grasses as thick as waist high full of moisture and wafts of sweet blooms surround you, insects flying freely while the sun is warming our backs nearly felt as a motherly embrace as we work the land, co-existence with nature is flourishing. This time of year may appear unruly and even disobedient, like a child with unbrushed rebellious hair and dirty clothes yet grinning ear to ear…
A Winemaker’s Hands A living journal of introspections
A Generational Decision
September 19th, 2020
Thinking before and not after has been ingrained in us as children and an old Scandinavian proverb. As I have grown older with more experience with people and life, taking my childhood ideals into adulthood, little did I know these words would be the foundation of our lives in farming and living off the land...
The Arrival of Spring
Continuity with nature’s rhythm
March 21st, 2020
As the days pass in a place we have never experienced, we continue with our lives in the vineyards. José Gonzalez, our longtime dedicated employee and man of character, has been with us for 36-years. When I check in with them in the fields, sometimes it’s merely a deep look into each other’s eyes to understand exactly what is without speaking a word...
The Powers that Be
Dynamics of Land, Vine and Humankind
September 15th, 2019
Harvest has begun at Garden Creek with our first pick of our Alexander Valley Chardonnay clonal selections now in tank settling before we place in french barrels to begin the long, slow fermentations ahead. Justin and I also own two vineyard sites in Anderson Valley, Mendocino in Philo of another 170 acres where we are headed this evening to night harvest Pinot Noir Calera clone. The days, weeks and months of 2019 evaporated quickly in deep meaning and have brought magical, life changing experiences sharing our wines with individuals who also inspire us. In pursuing our dreams, magic happens...
When Time Stands Still
The craftmanship of fine winemaking
March 23rd, 2019
We are all aging. The quality and length of aging is dependent on the foundation we started with, where we came from. With certainty, we awaken each morning knowing the earth continues to rotate around the axis turning counter clockwise. The sun rises and sets each day. Each day new, never identical to the last. The clocks ticks, time does not stop. As a winegrower, our wines are crafted to age. With confidence, to age as one does each day is gaining a deep, well deserved wrinkle and glistening gray hair which is much like a saga versus a single word. It’s time now to sit down and listen to our saga...
Twenty years deep
Commitment in all we do
November 24th, 2018
They say, it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert at something... I cannot agree more. 175,000 hours later... these many hours together have brought many adventures, many dreams into reality which for us have become businesses, travels to far off places and two beautiful children. Together we are one. Relationships take passion, deep commitment, and a very open heart. Justin and I celebrated 20-years together in October, and it feels like yesterday...
The Vertex of Winegrowing
Harvest begins again
September 15th, 2018
Winegrowing can be an emotional profession. There are an incredible amount of challenges and triumphs throughout the season. Then comes the highly anticipated time of year, harvest. Pride overcomes your sense of being as we walk side by side with our crew in silence into the vine rows to begin what we have all been waiting for...
Decades of Loyalty
Meet the Gonzalez Family
August 25th, 2018
Imagine working and living at the same place for your entire life? Certain individuals have the determination, perseverance and ethic in knowing their path in life.
A Real Farmer
A connection from soil to table
May 26th, 2018
Both Justin and I grew up in Northern Sonoma County in the 1970s on large parcels of land with creeks full of spring water, and acres of freedom in every direction. We were all mostly farmers back then. Living off the land was the way of life not an exception or privilege as it is today. Justin and I both lived with chickens in the garden, snorting pigs in a pen, Holstein dairy cows in the pasture and a plentiful year-round garden for the household and daily meals. At the holidays, we would slaughter our various animals -- typically named Sven or Carlsson. We were expected to work in the vineyards and on the farm after school, and most certainly all summer long. It was a way of life. We were always together as a family...
Place of Origin
Distinguishing characteristics of identity
March 3rd, 2018
As an immigrant to the United States from Sweden, my identity remains true to my place of beginnings yet have adapted to the place I stand in today. The open vast, green landscape, the ever-reaching bright blue skies with white, billowy cumulus clouds above, deep clear lakes with clean waters, the modest, modern identity of design and art, the meaning of equality and fairness – these make sense to me. And its' a part of me. Today I am now a Swedish American and have been for the last 40-years of my life. My place of origin is Sonoma County...
In the Moment
The meaning of the lesson
February 3rd, 2018
As we dive into this new year… 2017 lingers in our minds from the lessons learned. Certainly, a year to be remembered... The lessons will linger. Many in fact.
An individual path of one’s own
September 9th, 2017
Timing is everything in life. Especially for those moments when turning back is not an option. This moment can be serendipitous, arriving naturally. Others must be well thought out with precision on exactly when and how. Best outcomes are those which take extensive, articulate planning, a tremendous amount of hard work, great thought behind what can be, and perhaps most important that intrinsic feeling of the thrill in forging ahead...
The Alluring Attraction of Power
The deep waters of Cabernet Sauvignon
August 7th, 2017
We are all attracted to power; be it sleek, fast cars, awe-inspiring jaw-dropping pacific coast waves, or the highest peak of an enormous, snow peaked mountain. It stops you, your eyes cannot be pulled away, you want to understand it and be a part of it and feel it if you can. Power comes in many forms – in wine it’s in the texture, the feel and the weight. Wines with powerful tannins are alluring and leaves you wanting more… power can be addictive. It’s all a matter of how far you take this attraction...
Knowledge from Experience
The Complexities of Farming Winegrapes
July 16th, 2017
We tend to speak of our wines around age. Aging wine is parallel to experience; longevity, depth and character. It is also the impetus to cellaring our wines for seven years prior to release. We prefer a wine with knowledge and wisdom. Just as the dirty hands of a farmer speak true knowledge of farming. I suppose it is true for most professions. I would say farmers more so. You get better at things as seasons and years pass. Much of what good farming means, the experience gives you intuition based on commitment to craft...
A Winemaker’s Hands
A living journal of introspections; wine, life and moments
June 30th, 2017
This journal will be sharing our undeniable devotion to our family heritage and each other – as innovative resolute winegrowers, as steadfast relentless winemakers, handcrafting wines which live and give pure enjoyment, while interweaving our full family life as farmers. The meaning of living on the land in the vineyards—finding inspiration in the everyday -- this is what we will share with you...
Part Devotion, Part Crazy
A mental state between man and soil
October 3rd, 2016
We have been doing this for a very long time. Farming is definitely not a weak man’s sport. At least for those who are dedicated to growing, producing and making something very worthwhile. Once you come to the point of no return, you will do anything to get to the peak. Much like heli-snowboarding in the untouched mountains of Norway. You either do it or don’t go home...
A Collaboration of Great Minds and Talent
September 1st, 2016
I will say with great pride, admiration and respect, we love these guys. When you work on projects… work projects, wine projects, your family’s storytelling and a website redesign... it’s sensitive and sometime hard to fully open up. Especially talking about yourself. At least, that’s who we are. Modest...