SWEAT | Syrah | 129 Cases
SWEAT | Syrah | 129 Cases
Only 129 Cases Produced
Fat Man Terrace / Windmill Ranch
Ballard Canyon AVA
2015 | Picked by Family
2017 | Put to Bottle
2017 - 2039 | Enjoy
BLOOD SWEAT AND TEARS
BLOOD SWEAT AND TEARS
That is a photo of Ring. My Great Grandfather - But not just any photo. It was taken the day he left Iowa with his wife and 3 daughters for a better life in California. That little blonde girl sitting on the floorboard of that sedan is my Grandmother Bertha Saarloos found on the MOM label.
This label and bottle of wine represents the 75th year my family has been farming in California.
When I look at this photo I see a man that is ready to leave. That car is not washed, the roads are mud, a dog walked in front of the camera as it was taken. The tires needing air, the age of the shoes on his feet. I often look at this photo and think about that moment. How, if he didn't get into that car that day, the chain of events that never would have happened leads all the way down to me never being born, to my children never being born. I personally can't think what life would have been like in the depression era dust bowl of Iowa. How hard it must have been, when nothing is growing, there is no money, a family to feed and limited options.
Nothing but Sweat.
When I look into his eyes a see a man committed.
Committed to the success of his family.
Ready to roll the dice on a new life, one better than the one he is living now.
I know I have been there. When my wife and I headed north to a place called Los Olivos with a two-week-old baby, ready to live in a barn and drill our own well. I when I look into my great grandmother's eyes while she holds her newest baby I see the look my wife gave me as we drove north into the unknown. There was no winery, the grapes were about to be harvested for the first time of merit. We had nothing more here than what was just hope for a better life for our child.
Ring was his name.
Things worked out for him, for us.
75 years later. Still farming.
Still Completely Commited.
This Review is by a Wine Family Member by the name of Mike Lamberti.
He has no formal wine training but likes to drink wine, a LOT of wine....
Thus he is OUR KIND OF PEOPLE.
He is a Wino Not a Snob.
I did not even ask him to do this... What a guy.
Fruit: Black Currant, Dried Blueberry
Herb/Floral: Black Peppercorn, Sage
Oak: Chocolate, Light Coffee
Earth/Other: Fresh Tilled Soil, Graphite
Acidity: Med+, Tart
Notes: Oak, Dried Dark Fruit
2015 was one of the most difficult farming years in our Farming history.
Farming is not for the Faint of Heart.
BLOOD SWEAT AND TEARS
One night you can go to bed knowing you have done everything you can to ensure your crop will be ready come harvest. By the next Morning, you can lose 75% of your crop by no fault of your own.
That is what happened to us in 2015.
The Wind Blew and The Rain fell on what was just the wrong day.
Silently, we lost 75% of our crop while we slept.
I suggest if want to know what it takes to be a farmer you read Paul Harvey's 1978 'So God Made a Farmer' Speech. (Included Below)
You have to be tough as nails, swallow hard and know you have to get back to work and perhaps work even harder when something likes this happens. You spend the year working, knowing full well that the results you work for, will not be there come harvest. As we harvested the Syrah, there were some looks between father and son. Deep breaths were pulled, and the metal was set.
We picked every single grape by hand, as we always do, and said out loud. "There isn't a lot of it. But it is some of the best looking, and best-tasting grapes, we have ever had. We didn't have much, but we were going to make the best wine we ever had out of what we did have.
And That We Did.
We are always precious with our crop, but this year we held it like someone in the desert holds a canteen.
Every drop sacred.
You see, this crop not only goes into our bottles, but it feeds our family, it feeds multiple families. We worked all year in the vineyard for that grape to hit our bottles, and we weren't going to let a drop go to waste, and we were not going to spare any expense or time, or any effort to make this the best possible wine we have ever made.
The truth is, the grapes spoke for themselves.
They were in a word perfect.
However, we know that trying moments will happen, and we can count on it as surely sparks fly upward.
In the life of the harvest of a wine grape, there is a moment called flowering. Flowering occurs when average daily temperatures stay between 59–68 °F A few weeks after the initial clusters appear, the flowers start to grow in size. It is during this stage of flowering that the self-pollination and fertilization of the vine take place with the resulting in an individual berry.
SO GOD MADE A FARMER
- PAUL HARVEY -1978
And on the 8th day, God looked down on his planned paradise and said, "I need a caretaker." So God made a farmer.
God said, "I need somebody willing to get up before dawn, milk cows, work all day in the fields, milk cows again, eat supper and then go to town and stay past midnight at a meeting of the school board." So God made a farmer.
"I need somebody with arms strong enough to rustle a calf and yet gentle enough to deliver his own grandchild. Somebody to call hogs, tame cantankerous machinery, come home hungry, have to wait lunch until his wife's done feeding visiting ladies and tell the ladies to be sure and come back real soon -- and mean it." So God made a farmer.
God said, "I need somebody willing to sit up all night with a newborn colt. And watch it die. Then dry his eyes and say, 'Maybe next year.' I need somebody who can shape an ax handle from a persimmon sprout, shoe a horse with a hunk of car tire, who can make harness out of haywire, feed sacks and shoe scraps. And who, planting time and harvest season, will finish his forty-hour week by Tuesday noon, then, pain'n from 'tractor back,' put in another seventy-two hours." So God made a farmer.
God had to have somebody willing to ride the ruts at double speed to get the hay in ahead of the rain clouds and yet stop in mid-field and race to help when he sees the first smoke from a neighbor's place. So God made a farmer.
God said, "I need somebody strong enough to clear trees and heave bails, yet gentle enough to tame lambs and wean pigs and tend the pink-combed pullets, who will stop his mower for an hour to splint the broken leg of a meadow lark. It had to be somebody who'd plow deep and straight and not cut corners. Somebody to seed, weed, feed, breed and rake and disc and plow and plant and tie the fleece and strain the milk and replenish the self-feeder and finish a hard week's work with a five-mile drive to church.
"Somebody who'd bale a family together with the soft strong bonds of sharing, who would laugh and then sigh, and then reply, with smiling eyes, when his son says he wants to spend his life 'doing what dad does.'" So God made a farmer.