Friday, April 26, 2013

California Part 4: Tablas Creek Vineyard

This is my family's Vineyard in Paso Robles.  It is an incredible place, and every time I go there I am more and more awed by the scope and style of the project, the amazing integrity behind the farming and winemaking, and just the sheer beauty of the place.  The photos above and directly below are of the new additional property that was just purchased, which is yet to be planted with vines.  It's a great place to try to launch rocks into space (if you're 3).

These photos were taken a few weeks ago, and I'm sure the vineyard is looking quite different now.  When we were there the vines were just starting to come out of their winter dormancy. In the vineyard they were in the beginning stages of mowing the spring cover crop, so you'll notice that some of the rows have been mowed, and some not.

We are moving towards biodynamic farming, part of which is creating a diverse ecosystem within the vineyard.  These little cuties below are helping out with that, as well as helping to disperse natural fertilizer around the vineyard as they help keep down the greenery between the vines.

This donkey's name is Fiona, and she's a guard donkey.  She and her other donkey friend keep coyotes and other predators away from the sheep and alpacas.  They are in a little enclosure that gets moved around regularly once they have munched down all of their fodder, and before they start munching on vines.

I have really only glossed over the tip of the iceberg of interesting things about Tablas Creek, so please click here if you want to go deeper I was just out wandering through the vines and couldn't resist taking photos of the amazing scenery.  And if vineyards and winemaking interest you in general, check out my brother's award winning blog (#shamelessfamilybragging). It is a great place to frequent for regular thought provoking and informative wine related articles spanning such topics as details of viticulture, wine business and policy, tasting notes, and many other subjects that effect daily life on a vineyard.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

California: Part 3: AndBe

I am very excited that my jewelry is now being sold at AndBe, a gorgeous new shop in Paso Robles, CA.  I got a chance to go there it in person and do a little shopping while we were out there a few weeks ago.  Beatrice and Andrea are the co-owners, and they sell carefully selected things for the home in beautiful muted colors, as well as accessories and some clothing.  

AndBe is full of luxurious textures and patterns, and it was a joy to wander around and pick everything up for a closer look.  And although there were many things I would have loved to take home, I ended up selecting six of the bowls you'll see below.  I have already put them into use, and I just love them.
Gorgeous stuff, right? I'd be in big trouble if AndBe was about 3005 miles closer!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

California Part 2: At Home

These pictures pretty much sum up what we do at home with my family in California.  Play by the pool, eat good and sometimes strange food (the second photo is shad roe), play with the kids and drink wine (sometimes at the same time), go to the farmers market for gorgeous flowers and yet more food, and then sit around the table and talk, while eating, yup, you guessed it, more food.  It was wonderfully luxurious, and now we are all on a diet.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

California Part 1: The Trip Over Santa Rosa Creek Road

We are back in Vermont, and this time, what struck me most about going from March in Vermont to March in California was the amazing lush color.  It made me think that perhaps the end of winter blues is less of a sunshine deficit, and perhaps more of a color deficit.  When I look out my windows right now all I see is a range of browns and greys.  And just look at all of the colors above.  Even the giant slugs are gorgeous and vibrant (and I mean giant). My eyes and spirits feel revived from the experience, and I think they have stored up enough color memory to get me through until the daffodils bloom.

These photos are from a drive over Santa Rosa Creek Road, which is a meandering mountain pass that links Highway 46 in Paso Robles with Cambria on the coast.  Highway 46 is also gorgeous, with sweeping vistas out to the coast.  But I really enjoyed this drive through little mountain hollows in the rain and fog.  And when we got to the coast the fog was just clearing, and we had the experience of being right on the edge of the fog bank, with the sun peeking through.  It is pretty incredible countryside out there.