Family Man | Syrah 2016 | The Life Of: Gilbert Saarloos
Family Man | Syrah 2016 | The Life Of: Gilbert Saarloos
High Hill / Windmill Ranch
Ballard Canyon AVA
2016 | Picked by Family
2018 | Put to Bottle
2019 - 2041
THE LIFE OF: GILBERT SAARLOOS - FAMILY MAN - 1962
GILBERT SAARLOOS -
LONG BEACH 1943
After my grandfather met my grandmother, they married and had two boys. Larry and Harvey - This installment of my grandfather life he grew to become the man I would know and love. A Family Man is the iteration of my grandfather that I believe he was born to be. After losing his father at such a young age, and then losing his older brother who had come to replace his father in his life, he now had a family of his own. My Grandparents built a home only to have it purchased and destroyed to make what has now become the 91 freeway. So he built another home, with only two bedrooms. One bedroom he and his wife would occupy for the rest of their lives, and another much larger upstairs that would both of his boys would grow inside. There would be no walls between his sons, just a big room with space for growing boys. I have spent many nights up in that room, sleeping in the bed that my father did. I always awoke to the smells of breakfast in that home. It was always warm, and there was still orange juice in the fridge. I think about this home often. A home says a lot about a family. There were touches on this home that was unique to my grandparents. He had hampers built into the walls so as you stripped down you could separate your whites, and darks, dry cleaning, and jeans. He also had an area that they built to show slides and movies on a wall all preplugged and custom just for this purpose.
Everything in this home was there to facilitate a close family. He never wanted his boys to be apart. Perhaps he longed for that relationship with his older brother John, and maybe he built his family the home he wishes he had had.
The family had always been important my grandfather; he still kept his boys close. Even the office My Father and Uncle shared with my grandfather had no walls, no privacy, just the three heads of the business sharing one big room.
When you went in that room to address an issue you could and would have a private meeting with just the person you were talking to, the others in the room would keep working, heads down. When your "private" meeting was over, all three would have heard the issue and take in the information and react accordingly. When I was a boy, I was helping him open mail and was privy to my first lesson in this shared privacy, I heard someone say something negative about my father to my uncle while my father was in the room, I turned my head, and my grandfather grabbed my attention, double pointed to my work, put his finger to my his lips and got back to work. After that meeting, the gentleman left, and all three discussed it and fixed the problem and moved the rock forward.
I learned a lot in those few moments,
1. Dont take anything personally.
2. Keep your mouth closed and ears open.
3. Keep working
4. Fix the problem quickly
5. I was allowed to be in the room and need to act accordingly
It was something that I think about all of the time. I talk to my father 5 times a day. I still like big rooms without walls, and fixing problems.
There is an old adage about not building higher walls, and to build a longer table. I think the moral here, is to have a great family, never let walls be built.
My grandfather wasn't a perfect man, He was a tough father, But he was the best Grandfather any boy could ask for. He didn't preach, and he just let you watch, and soak in the sermons through your eyes. He went to work Saturdays, he was the first guy in every single day, he made coffee and warmed the engines on the trucks for the drivers. We went to lunch a lot together, we talked about everything I would ask him about, he fell asleep every time he went horizontal, he loved ice cream, and the one time he ever got mad at me, he explained why and who his brother was to him.
The first time anyone met my now wife in my family it was my Grandmother and Grandfather, he took one look at her, smiled brightly, got up from his chair and hugged her. Then he pointed at me and gave me a thumbs up...
My grandmother saw this.. And the next time I saw them she asked "Are you still going with that girl with the painted lips and the thing in her nose?"
When I said "Yes I am"
I got another thumbs up from Grandpa.
I knew I would marry that girl, just because of the way he reacted to her.
I think It was our second date.
Our family would be the family it is today without this man. My Grandmother was his foil. Their teamwork built us into who we are today. I saw how to love your wife from him. He looked at my grandmother the way I look at my wife. My father, brother, and uncle do the same.
I miss him every day.
I see the things I love in him every day.
Life Vs Lives
In 2016 We harvested our Syrah from the three hills on our Ballard Canyon Vineyard.
Each of the hillsides are planted with our Syrah Clone.
Genetically each of the vines on these hillsides are identical.
Each vine is a clone of itself grown on the same property by our family in just the same way.
Conventional thought would tell you that each of these wines would taste the same.
That these grapes that have been treated the same from the identical genetic vines would be identical.
That made these wines are a commodity product and that the outcome would be identical.
Now, think about a people.
Three children raised in the same home, with the identical DNA, treated precisely the same…
Wouldn't each of these children come out the same way?
Wouldn't they like the same things, act the same way, be the same person?
Of course the answer is No.
The environment that they grow up in plays an unbelievable and vital role into who you and they would become.
Each of our hillsides has a unique environment that is bestowed upon the vines and the fruit giving them individual characteristics that after we harvest our grapes and give our farming immortality that is our wines are expressed completely.
Being a Parent and being a Farmer have overlapped in my life to become one.
I see my Family in our farming - I see our Farming in our Family.
Each has taught me lessons about the other that I would have missed without being both.
We have released each of our Syrah’s individually.
Because, they are in fact, individuals.
The same person if you will, at different phases of life, in different locations
The Life of: Gilbert Saarloos