Weekends are times for kicking back. Except on a part time farm. Which is why I’m punting today and posting mostly pictures instead of writing anything. How about another tour of the spread? That’s always a good stand-by. What better place to start than with this Matija Poppy. I don’t know why, but these flowers always make me happy. We call them “Fried Egg Flowers” because they look like the centerpiece to a healthy farm breakfast. They are also loved by bees and butterflies, which is why we planted them. Although I wasn’t quick enough to capture any of those visitors today.
If you remember the wild and wooly look of a few weeks ago, you may be pleased to see that the vineyards got a haircut and a touch up. The vineyards were overgrown with weeds earlier…deliberately. The best wine comes from grapes that struggle, and apparently, repeated mulching had made our land TOO fertile. So weeds were allowed to grow to pull nutrients out of the soil. Their work is done now. Weeds are mown and the vines have been trimmed and tied neatly within the wires.
I’m in the midst of an ongoing photographic project to document the development of one specific vine, Vine 2 in Row 6 of the vineyard. It’s Cabernet and it’s coming along nicely.
But surprisingly different from the Cinsault.
Yet another varietal, the Mourvedre, isn’t even completely out of the flowering stage yet.
Then out of the vineyards and down one of the nature trails. Doesn’t this look lovely and natural?
Actually, it’s the work of a trail-making genius we affectionately call John the Baptist. He builds us trails by working from original deer trails and enhancing them with found objects. We asked him to “landscape as God would”. Apparently, he’s got God on a speed dial because he gets it exactly right.
Then we come to our amphitheater, built from all the stones that had to be dug out of the vineyard land.
Eric Clapton has yet to accept our invitation to play here. It’s not as if we could afford to pay him. But we would offer him a barbecue of Sonoma organic beef and Two Terrier corn and tomatoes. But so far, it looks as if our headlining act will continue to be The Mellow Stylings of Andy Paul.
Then back down another trail, where we passed this rock overhanging the path.
Whereupon, Andy looked up and said, “We could carve Obama’s face in this rock and have our own mini Mount Rushmore.”
Note, Republicans, this suggestion did NOT come from the life-long Democrat. It came from an Englishman, who is not a US citizen and who is a confirmed Capitalist. But I wouldn’t mind this plan. We could invite Barack, Michelle and the kids for a barbecue. Organic, free-range Sonoma beef and Two Terriers tomatoes and corn. We have plenty. As I don’t think Eric Clapton will be stopping by any time soon.
I love those fried egg flowers too, you are right they are just happy
You know what, though, the corner of that rock already looks like a fact. It has two indentations or shadows that look like eyes and then a big huge honking protrusion that could be cut into a nose. Think about it now . . . . . . . a budding artist could use it for his first work . . . .
The ampitheatre is beautiful and breathtaking. It must have been quite a feat to put it together. You must hold weddings there, and if not, you should.
p.s. L, what can you tell us about the Cinsault grape? My husband and I belonged to the Bonny Doon vineyards wine club for two years and one of the bottles they sent us was a Cinsault, the first time we had bought it. It is still aging as instructed in our rack. I know nothing about this varietal. Even when I was in fine dining food service I was not instructed on this varietal and never tasted it.
We have indeed held a wedding there. The parents of The World’s Most Beautiful Baby, who is often featured here, were married at the amphitheater a few years ago.
Cinsault is typically a blending grape. It’s seldom and not traditionally made into a single varietal wine. It’s quite sweet, almost candy or strawberry flavored. We’ve experienced it at Unti Vineyards made into a rose which was very nice. We think we’ll be doing that this year, plus using it for the traditional Rhone style blend.
Here’s a good primer on Cinsault: http://www.winepros.org/wine101/grape_profiles/cinsault.htm
That flower is beautiful. I should be planting the rest of my flowers but I seem to be feeding the deer, which is mighty expensive, pretty to watch in the morning but it is a killer on the pocket book.
Your place looks so serene and love the amphitheater.
I bet if you got Barack, Michelle and the kids for a barbecue, you could also get Eric Clapton to perform, same day! Because I attended the wedding that was held there, I know it would be a great place to have all this happen.
Poppies remind me of the English and French countryside. Still my favourite flower. And a good, hearty breakfast is my favourite meal too. Don’t forget to send me an invite to the Eric Clapton or The Obamas concert/BBQ.