It has become very fashionable for California wineries to proclaim their adherence to healthy and sustainable growing practices. But one Napa Valley property stands out as an example on how to grow not only the finest grapes, but vegetables, olives and other products. Their efforts result in not only superior wines, but a healthier planet for all of us.
Join us on THURSDAY MARCH 28 at 6:30 as we taste the inspiring wines of LONG MEADOW RANCH. We will pour five of their finest wines, served alongside a six-course dinner. Professional commentary will be provided, once again, by MARK FRATTO of M.S. Walker.
Cost for this dinner is $65 per person, including all food and wine. RESERVATIONS ARE REQUIRED! Please call Stellina in person at 617-924-9475 to insure prompt confirmation.
Owned by Ted, Laddie, and Christopher Hall, Long Meadow Ranch, or LMR as it’s known, employs an integrated, organic farming system, using simple, sustainable methods. Each part of the Ranch contributes to the health of the whole. Vineyards and wine making, olive orchards and olive oil making, cattle and horse breeding all work together in complementary fashion, as do the egg-laying poultry flock and the organic vegetable gardens.
All crops (including the wines!) are certified organic by California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF) and are grown without the use of herbicides, pesticides, or chemical fertilizers.
The Mayacamas Estate is nestled in the mountains high above the Rutherford Bench and is home to vineyards, olive groves, horses, and the edible garden Chris and Timmy planted as children on the ranch.
Our Mayacamas Estate was revitalized in 1989 according to the Hall family vision of crafting world-class wines using sustainable, organic farming practices. Today we grow 16 acres of vineyards in the Mayacamas Mountains to produce estate-grown Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Sangiovese and Cabernet Fra
Once a riverbed, our benchland Rutherford Estate has 74 acres planted to Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot. The estate is also home to our fruits and vegetables, beehives, and our growing flock of egg-laying chickens.
With over 500 varietals of organic heirloom fruits and vegetables, our diverse ranch defies the monoculture that reigns supreme in Napa Valley. Our chefs collaborate with our agriculture team to carefully select varietals that will thrive and provide the finest produce for our restaurant and farmer’s market throughout the year. Our bounty includes Purple Dark Opal basil, Black from Tula tomatoes, Delicata squash, Chioggia beets, Green Globe artichokes, Purple Peruvian potatoes, Blenheim apricots, Arctic Rose nectarines, Pink Pearl apples, Seascape strawberries and, of course, Black Mission figs from our 100-year old tree, to name a few.
Our growing flock of chickens roost in a state-of-the-art coop on our Rutherford Estate. The Ameraucanas, Black Australorps, Buckeyes and Cuckoo Marans savor organic fruits and vegetables we cannot use in our restaurant or sell at the farmer’s market. These supplemental snacks produce the most gorgeous orange egg yolks! In turn, their manure is a vital part of our compost, adding much needed nitrogen to our fertilizer.
Our beekeeper is fond of the quote attributed to Einstein, “If the bee disappears from the surface of the earth, man would have no more than four years to live.” We believe honeybees are an integral part of our sustainable farming methods. Our colony of honeybees is hard at work pollinating our fruits, vegetables, and vineyards, as well as producing Long Meadow Ranch’s delectable organic honey.
The Anderson Valley Estate, in Mendocino County, stretches over a diverse mix of elevations with the Navarro River forming the southern boundary and cool sea breezes from the Pacific bringing the marine layer through our vines.
Located in the west or “deep end” of the Anderson Valley in Mendocino County, approximately 2.5 hours north of San Francisco, our Anderson Valley Estate has 69 acres planted to Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Gris. With the Navarro River to the southwest and close proximity to the Pacific Ocean, a natural marine layer blankets the vineyards and creates terroir ideal for our estate-grown Burgundian varietals to mature slowly and ripen to the peak of their varietal character.
ASHLEY HEISEY, VICE PRESIDENT OF WINEMAKING
Ashley Heisey has decades of winemaking experience under her belt, both in the U.S. and abroad. With a Masters in Enology from University of California, Davis, Heisey leads our team of estate winemakers to craft wines that are the truest reflections of their terroir. Her time at Far Niente, Opus One, Robert Mondavi Winery and Schramsberg, as well as stints in Rheingau and Bordeaux coupled with her winemaking philosophy make her the perfect fit for Long Meadow Ranch. She lives in Yountville with her husband and son.
STÉPHANE VIVIER, ANDERSON VALLEY ESTATE WINEMAKER
A native of Burgundy, France, Stéphane Vivier’s old-world sensibilities are ideally suited for his role as winemaker at our Anderson Valley Estate. With degrees in viticulture and enology from Université de Bourgogne in Dijon, Stéphane cultivated his vineyard and cellar skills at Pommard, Meursault, and Chassagne-Montrachet, before working as a young winemaker in Switzerland, New Zealand, and the Russian River. Prior to Long Meadow Ranch, Stéphane was the winemaker for Hyde de Villaine, famed co-director of Domaine de la Romanee-Conti Aubert de Villaine and Larry Hyde’s partnership winery. He maintains his position as consulting winemaker today, as well as overseeing his own label, Vivier, with his wife.
JUSTIN CARR, RUTHERFORD AND MAYACAMAS ESTATES WINEMAKER
A California native, Justin Carr refined his winemaking skills in Napa, Sonoma and New Zealand before joining Long Meadow Ranch. Inspired by the combination of science, art, and the active lifestyle of winemaking, Carr received degrees in both Economics and Viticulture & Enology from the Universities of California at Berkeley and Davis respectively. He went on to hold positions at Hourglass, Rudd, Lynmar, Craggy Range, Patz & Hall, and Cakebread before joining Long Meadow Ranch as our Rutherford Estate Winemaker. Justin lives in Napa with his wife and daughter.
2016 CHARDONNAY ANDERSON VALLEY
ESTATE: Anderson Valley
VARIETAL: 100% Chardonnay
MATURATION: 25% new, 75% neutral French oak
FOOD AFFINITIES: Roast chicken, grilled salmon, risotto with wild mushrooms
WINEMAKER’S COMMENTS: “The aromatics are exotic and the palate possesses minerality with a burgeoning richness. Youthful and pale green in color, the flavors are complex, revealing floral, pear, and lemon notes. A lovely mineral core and crystallized fruit, with a long, energetic finish. Very enjoyable now but will age gracefully for at least a decade.”
2015 MERLOT NAPA VALLEY
VINEYARD: Estate grown at our Mayacamas & Rutherford EstatesVARIETAL: 95% Merlot, 2.4% Cabernet Sauvignon, 1.8% Petite Sirah, 0.8% Petit Verdot
MATURATION: Aged in 30% new French oak
FOOD AFFINITIES: LMR grass-fed beef, smoked baby back ribs, or with barbecued pulled pork sandwiches
WINEMAKER TASTING NOTES: The dark red color of this beautiful 2015 Napa Valley Merlot hints at
its subtle plum and Crème de Cassis, but belies its rich bright red fruit aromas of cherry and raspberry. The well balanced acidity and round tannins marry well with the light oak profile on the palate giving it a length and complexity worthy of its sustainably farmed mid-Valley roots.
2015 PINOT NOIR ANDERSON VALLEY
VINEYARD: Estate Grown
VARIETAL: 100% Pinot Noir
COOPERAGE: 25% new and 75% neutral French oakCASE PRODUCTION: 2500
FOOD AFFINITIES: Duck Breast and cherry mostarda, Squab and spiced plums, Grilled Quail and chanterelle mushrooms
WINEMAKER’S COMMENTS: “The wine shows a deep and resonating ruby red hue. The nose is full of earth tones, cherry and scent of violet. It is framed with an iron-like, mineral firmness. The palate is racy and upright, the profile is expressive and complex with a classic and elegant tannic grip that goes beyond a long lasting finish.”
WINE ENTHUSIAST 93 POINTS! “This new wine from an estate vineyard is the strong, quiet type that’s not effusively fruity but instead emphasizes mineral elements and great structure. An attractive chalky, spicy aroma leads to beautifully restrained red cherry and pomegranate flavors that seem to grow and expand with each sip. The texture is firmly tannic but also polished, supported by perfect acidity that keeps everything sharp and focused.”
2016 CABERNET SAUVIGNON NAPA VALLEY
VARIETAL COMPOSITION: 83% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Petit Verdot, 3% Merlot, 3% Malbec
COOPERAGE: 75% neutral, 25% new French oak
FOOD AFFINITIES: Grass-fed beef, lamb, or roasted game
WINEMAKER’S COMMENTS:“Cassis, black cherry, violets, and dried herbs showcase the classic aromas of this Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. The palate is bright and fruit forward with cassis and layered red and blue fruits. Soft and juicy on entry and has a supple midpalate and soft long, juicy tannins on the finish. This wine rewards cellaring for up to ten years.”
2015 CABERNET SAUVIGNON E.J. CHURCH RESERVE MAYACAMAS ESTATE
This reserve wine takes its name from E.J. Church, Long Meadow Ranch’s pioneering settler who acquired the property via a patent grant from President Ulysses S. Grant in 1872. We have replanted the southwest-facing vineyards which E.J. Church established in the 1870s. These mountain-grown grapes, planted at 1300 feet elevation develop deep fruit flavors and ripe tannins which are handcrafted into an elegant, balanced wine.
VINEYARD: Estate Grown at 1100 ft at our Mayacamas Estate
VARIETAL COMPOSITION: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon
MATURATION: 18 months in 50% new French oak, 50% neutral French oakCASE PRODUCTION: 496
FOOD AFFINITIES: LMR grass-fed beef, lamb, or roasted game
WINEMAKER’S COMMENTS: “Carefully blended from pure Mayacamas Estate lots, the wine’s nose is layered with juicy black cherry, forest earthiness and a touch of cedar. Its harmony of rich tannins, native acidity and sweet fruit extraction provide a slow and pleasing unfolding on the palate and in the glass. The mountain tannins provide structure and ample suppleness which has become part of the reliable EJ Church expression of terroir over the vintages. Enjoy over the next decade.
LONG MEADOW RANCH’S APPROACH TO ITS ENVIRONMENT
Almost 30 years ago, Ted and Laddie Hall entered the wine business with a plan to prove that they could produce world-class vintages using sustainable, organic farming methods. But unlike Napa’s dominant vinters, it wasn’t just wine they were after. According to their son Chris, the Halls wanted to create an “organic, sustainable, integrated farming system that relies on each part of the ranch to contribute to the health of the whole.” It was a pioneering approach they called “full circle farming,” an approach that is unique in its depth and scope among Napa Valley wineries today.
The Halls found their first property, a tangled mass of overgrown vegetation, in the Mayacamas Mountains above St. Helena. They set about restoring the neglected estate, father Ted and son Chris exploring the land from the backs of their spotted Appaloosas. “We quickly knew the potential,” says Chris Hall, who is now executive vice president and chief operating officer of Long Meadow Ranch.
Even so, there were surprises in store: In 1992, the pair discovered 250 olive trees concealed by masses of Douglas fir and digger pines; three years later, they found a second olive grove. While DNA tests have not been able to identify the variety of olive, the now-restored trees have been dated to 1870, making them the oldest of a handful of historic olive groves in Napa dating back to the end of the 19th century.
These days, Long Meadow Ranch also cultivates over 200 varieties of heirloom fruits and vegetables, heritage breeds of laying poultry including Ameraucanas and Black Australorps, honey, several hundred head of Highland cattle, and more on 2,000 acres of land spread out over five properties.
The different areas of the ranch work in tandem—the poultry feast on overripe or damaged fruits and veggies, the bees pollinate the vineyards, the chickens’ manure augments the Ranch’s extensive composting operation, and Haflinger and Norwegian Fjord horses plow the potato fields. Everything produced on the farm is certified organic by the CCOF; their newest vineyards earned organic certification in 2017 after a multi-year process involving a reduction of resource inputs, the elimination of all pesticides, and a plan to encourage ecological diversity and healthy soil and vines.
“We have learned that organic farming methods produce higher quality at lower cost, with real consumer benefits,” says Hall. Heirloom and heritage produce and animals have been chosen for similar reasons. “There’s an agricultural heritage that we’re trying to preserve,” explains harvest manager Charlie McIntosh. “Heritage breeds are heartier, with a genetic resiliency that connects to flavor.”