On the subject of wine … the KP Spouse and I have been members of the wine club at Preston Vineyards in the Dry Creek valley in Sonoma County for a while. Preston is at the way-far north end of the valley; you go to the end of the road, take a right, and keep going. Farm, Italian aesthetic, bocce lawn, cats, friendly folks, beautiful scenery, fresh bread and olive oil, all complementing good “Rhone Ranger-style” wines.
We’ve even been members long enough to experience Preston’s transition to a fully organic vineyard and farm. They made a strategic decision to go organic, reduce yields, stop producing some wines, and essentially to simplify. I think the wines have gotten better; Lou’s Red is a nice, casual blend. I’ve mentioned before that we’ve got a 4+-year vertical of their Petite Sirah in the cellar; it’s a nice, lush, structured, bold wine (yum!). I believe we have a similar vertical of the Old Vines Zinfandel (yum encore!). I’ve also mentioned their Cinsault, which you don’t often find in single-varietal bottlings but is a supple and elegant wine that goes perfectly with a nice spring navarin d’agneau. Vigonier, zinfandel, roussanne, all of their wines are born of good care, good fruit, and careful but not fussy winemaking.
One of the charming features that makes us enjoy being members of the Preston wine club is Lou Preston’s personality, which is irrepressible. His newsletters accompanying our wine shipments always make for good dinner table entertainment the night that the box arrives, when we crack open a bottle from the box and hear about Lou’s journey over the past three months. He’s a sincere and honest communicator, and a good writer, so it’s been interesting to accompany him on his exploration of bio-dynamic agricultural practices and organic farming. He’s also very good at putting it in non-judgmental terms, basically saying “I increasingly have found that this stuff matters to me, so I’m changing how we do business to reflect that, and here’s what I’m learning and experiencing along the way.”
All this is lead-up to what by now should be obvious: Lou should be blogging, and now he is. I’ve added him to the list on the left. Right now his top post may be of interest to you energy folks out there; he’s found that in the transition to organic they are using the tractor way more than before, and he has retrofitted the tractor to take recycled vegetable oil as fuel.