photo credit: youwall.com (photo not taken at Terragena Vineyard)
Terragena’s remote location in the rugged lands of Humboldt county hosts a variety creatures. While most of them are relatively harmless we do have a few neighbors that it’s wise to steer clear of, and as the seasons change we find ourselves ever adapting to making Terragena a safe and peaceful place for all to live.
Now that winter is setting in with frost sweeping the mountain we’ve found an unusual increase in our stealthy neighbors, the Mountain Lions. Vineyard dog Akira has been on high alert, nervously reacting to something that has been prowling closer to the clearing where we live. The cold has driven much of the small prey to be less active, and the rains have kept us from being outdoors and clamoring around as often. We have become familiar with our shy neighbors through a series of encounters, and while none we would consider close, we’ve had to make some changes to keep everyone safe.
Nebbiolo Grapes at Lost Coast Vineyard
We thought we were done with grape harvest for the year. We had made it through the long days, equipment failures, and other adventures that popped up at our off-grid winery, and we were ready to cozy up with some warm beverages in front of the fire.
It was totally unexpected when our friends at Lost Coast Vineyard offered us the opportunity to harvest some beautiful nebbiolo grapes. Talk about an offer we couldn’t refuse…
Abiqua Wind Vineyard, Willamette Valley, Oregon
Recently Chris took a roadtrip up the coast of California, through Oregon and Washington, and all the way to Victoria BC. It was a fantastic time traveling, visiting friends, and hiking all over the place. We also stopped in a bunch of wineries in the Willamette and Rogue River Valleys in Oregon. Oregon has become well known for its excellent pinot noir, but what really blew us away was the pinot gris we tasted there.
And – it occurred to us – Oregon really isn’t that far away from the Terragena winery. Could we get some of those delicious grapes and make an Oregon wine in a California winery?
Harvest prep: trucking barrels to the winery
The 2016 winemaking season has been particularly exciting for the Terragena team because this has been the first year we were able to make all of our wine at our off-grid Humboldt County, CA winery. As luck (and the weather) would have it, the grapes across Northern California were ready a bit early this year, which left us a rather short timeline for preparing the winery space for winemaking. Major thanks go out to Michael and Maria for their organizational and cleaning skills; they took the space from cluttered/disorganized to spotless-and-winemaking-ready in record time.
We harvested our first fruit of the season from the Abbassi family vineyard in the early morning hours of August 19. Our winemaker/truckdriver/proprietor Chris was on site at 3am to pick up the grapes and bring them from the vineyard in the Sonoma Carneros region all the way up to our Humboldt winery. Everything was on schedule and Chris and the chardonnay grapes were headed northward when, at about 7am around Healdsburg, things got interesting.
Our friend got married in this palace in Hungary. Not bad, huh?
A friend of Chris’s family got married recently in Hungary. She had a lovely wedding near Lake Balaton, and Chris and I had a blast. Did you know that Hungarian wedding receptions last all night? Neither did we. Do you know what Pálinka is? We didn’t either, but we sure do now.