Farmer // Estate Syrah // 2014
Farmer // Estate Syrah // 2014
Only 136 Cases Produced
Little Boy Terrace
Ballard Canyon AVA
Hand Picked by Family in 2014
Barrel Aged 2 Years
Bottled in 2016
Bottle Aged 1 Year
Wear Out Don't Rust Out.
The photo on the label is taken from the catalog of my grandfathers business. Ezell Sales - Dairy Supply. After my grandfather left Iowa, he built liberty ships in Long Beach. After the war, he gained employment from a man by the name of Tazman Ezell. Mr. Ezell was a chemist. The surrounding area was all Dairys my grandfather called on them to make sure they were well stocked and taken care of. Most of all, he was a problem solver.
My grandfather handed down his work ethic like an heirloom to his sons, and their sons, like a gold watch. It has served us for generations. But underneath that work ethic, is a curiosity that has served me like a secondhand on that watch. I look for problems; I seek them out, I tinker until I am pleased and the bolts are tight.
That is the tool we use every day like a pocket knife.
Find and Fix.
You put those together with a stubborn work ethic and in 50 years, you may have made something of yourself.
My grandfather's work ethic is only described as Tenacious. If the sun was up, you could be sure he was up before it working hard ready to meet it. He was notorious for showing up to work at his business and starting up every truck for his fleet of drivers so that they would be ready to go the minute they clocked in. He made the first pot of coffee in the morning; he collected the mail each day. He took care of the penny's so the dollars would take care of themselves. This work ethic bleed into his sons, not by preaching it, but by only letting them watch it and establishing it as the Norm. He worked six days a week as we still do now. It is just what is expected of ourselves. Some would describe this ethic as a "workaholic" or perhaps "driven," but knowing him, my father, and myself, and the rest of my family, I would call it Purpose. You see, each of us feels grateful to have a job to get up and do. We feel uneasy when we are doing nothing but enjoying ourselves. There is a sense of guilt that floods our system when we are not productive. Truthfully, we love what we do. It is not really "work" it is just who we are. We like to push our little rock a foot each day, and we like to see where we have been, we like to see progress, we love the reward of being tired and falling asleep in a chair at the end of a day and looking forward to doing it again tomorrow. We like to pull our face away from the grindstone and look around from time to time and see how much distance we have covered, and can't wait to shove it back down again to make even better time.
We aren't good at anything, and there is no exceptional talent, it is just 3 yards a play smash mouth working that gets the things done.
Yes, it is sometimes hard having a father that feels this way as a child, I have missed my share of events in my kids lives. However, my children, like I did with my grandfather and father, come to the office, and the vineyard, and hang out with me more than any other kids I know with their father. I understand my grandfather as I do because as a kid I would open mail with him, dump his trash, go to lunch with him and my father and uncle on a daily basis and received an education on life that made me who I am today. I missed dates because I had to make a delivery to who knows where because a customer needed it. It is just what you did. It is what we still do. Because when someone says "wow, I can't believe you made it happen" it what we live for. It is still who we are and what we believe the world needs.
I love this wine and what it represents.
When you work hard at something, you might get the opportunity to make something great. It isn't guaranteed, but you have a shot.
Keep taking those shots, and your percentage of success will start to creep up. Then after 20 years of grinding it out day after day, trying failing, and getting back up again....
Someone will call you "Lucky."
And you will smile because you know the real story.
Farmer is an Estate Syrah made from our Windmill Ranch Vineyard on Ballard Canyon. It comes from an area of our vineyard that is known as the Little Boy.
This terrace is comprised of 14 rows of vines. The farming here is some of the most difficult in the county. The terraces are vertical in nature. Whenever we bring a tractor up to these rows, we make sure our souls are right with the Good Lord.
Since we had planted our vineyard almost 20 years ago in Ballard Canyon, Ballard Canyon has established itself as an AVA that specializes in Syrah Fruit as its cornerstone. An AVA stands for an American Viticultural Area it is a designated wine grape-growing region in the United States distinguishable by geographic features, with boundaries defined by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) of the United States Department of the Treasury.
In short, you are getting the best of the best from an area that is known for being the best place on earth to grow Syrah.