Monday, November 30, 2009

Family Reunion

Two weekends ago we had an open house at our winery. Two of my sisters, Cali and Bella, and one of my brothers, Bishop, attended. Here we are running through the vineyard.

Horsing around

This is Topper and me. She is our racehorse that runs at all the California race tracks. Jim has created a track for her right through the vineyard where he exercises her everyday. You can see it through the tasting room windows.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

When harvest ends the real work begins

I found out that harvest isn't just fun and games out in the vineyards. Every day we've had to stay at the winery and process the grapes that were picked. Sometimes this went on till late at night. Even after the grapes were processed we had to pump over then press them later on. The work continues and I think I overheard Susan say that we will finish sometime in December. It's starting to get cold at night, I would rather be on the couch at home with a blazing fire going.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

My Dad is Back!

After a long 10 days of searching for my dad, and posting signs and contacting all of the neighbors and  our local restaurant Cucina Italiana, our local bar Turtle Rock, The Pope Valley Store, all the vet clinics, the animal shelters in two counties and placing an ad in the Napa Valley Register, we got a call yesterday from a neighbor on Pritchard Hill. Gwen  had found Charlie wandering on the road and because he had no collar she assumed he was abandoned so she opened her car door and he jumped in. For the next week he lived in luxury on a beautiful estate overlooking Lake Hennessey. Gwen had been preoccupied with other matters in her life, and because Charlie was such a pleasant and polite house guest, she let him stay until she realized that he was missing his family and that he must have a home somewhere. She looked in the lost and found section of the paper and knew she had the lost dog described in the ad. She called our home and my mom Holly, Bean, Susan and Melissa and I raced to the car,  drove down the canyon and up the mountain to fetch him. He was so happy to see us and yet sad to leave his new friends. Before coming home he gave us the grand tour around  his vacation home and as I jumped up over the stone wall to join the tour I realized that I had just shown Susan and Melissa that I do know how to jump, oops!

We all have collars and id tags now, thanks to Nanci our best friend in the world!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

My Dad is Missing

It has been too busy at the ranch to sit down and update my blog. Between harvesting, crushing, pressing, filling barrels, barrel fermenting and organizing the winery so all of these events can run smoothly, I am too exhausted at night. Now, we are faced with the disappearance of my dad, Charlie who was last seen on the ranch about 4 pm last Sunday. Here is the information, please pray for his safe return.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

A Week of Harvesting, Crushing & Pressing

Wow what a week it was. On Tuesday we picked Zinfandel, on Wednesday we picked Zinfandel. On Thursday we picked Chardonnay and on Friday and Saturday we picked Zinfandel. We started out with very small crews because everyone in the valley was picking grapes after our big heat wave last week. Later each morning more people came to help. The grapes are really yummy. Yesterday, I didn't feel very well after eating those really sweet Zinfandel grapes. I went home in the afternoon and stayed there all evening. I felt better when it was time to go to bed.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Things are starting to happen around here

Tomorrow is harvest. I have to go to bed early so that I can be ready to help pick the Zinfandel. I will tell you more about it tomorrow or the next day.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

My weekend

Another great weekend at the ranch. Lots of people stayed at the B&B including my sister Cali and her parents Susan & Per. It was really hot so we played in the water and had fun running through the floppy plants and cool grass. Then Per gave us treats which we all enjoyed.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

My best friend

While we are waiting for harvest, I thought I would tell you about other things going on at the ranch. We've had some hot weather, but I stay cool in the office during the day. At night I go home and get to spend time with my best friend George. He lets me chew on him and even after he screams and attacks me with his claws he always comes back for more. At night he purrs loudly as he cuddles with me.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Time to test the grapes

At the ranch we are anticipating the harvest of the Chardonnay and Zinfandel. We must go out frequently and test the sugar of the grapes in the vineyard. My dad Charlie is an expert at this, it is his 10th harvest.

Friday, September 18, 2009

A visiting prince

I don't know what all the hoopla was over. An African prince came to visit the winery on Wednesday evening. He came with an entourage of fancy cars and serious looking men. Those men stood guard around the prince as Jim gave him and his girlfriend a wine tasting. Then they all drove off. Well, Susan thinks I'm  the prince of RustRidge and I have my own entourage of family, cats and horses.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

My first harvest

Saturday morning was quite different from my usual carefree days. Everybody got up early and went to the vineyard. There was a crew of guys and a tractor driver and they were picking the grapes that they call Sauvignon Blanc. Wow, were they sweet! Bean (Melissa's dog) my mom (Holly) and my dad (Charlie) all went with me to be part of the harvest. It had rained a little bit in the night so all of the dust had settled and there was a bit of rain and lightning early in the day. Very cool. Then the grapes came in and they started all the crush equipment and the grapes were dropped into the press. I was exhausted by then and decided to lay down in a flower bed. My mom chose to  snooze on the crush pad.