o f     t h e
Our alter on top of a barrel
and the tools of the trade
The Blessing of the Fermenters... this is the kind of 'lab work' we like the best.
I think we are so smitten with it because it gets results, but none of them with a number.
It's true, we tend to be quite the minimalists when it comes to assigning certain wine
characteristics, qualities and overall quality with a number.  Numbers tend to make you
believe that just one thing is true at a time.  In the finest of winegrowing,
many things are
true at a given moment.  And you have to juggle all of that stuff in your head and heart
at once.  So that is why we venture out to blessings, you just can't quantify them
and you will never be able to prove that it 'did' anything.
                                             That's my cup of tea (or bowl of holy water).
Father Lawrence Margitich
of the
Protection of the Holy Virgin Church -
St. Seraphim Orthodox Church
is officiating.
Two fermenters of Saddle East and one of Entrance Hill, all from the Brickhill Vineyard
Plus Krassimira, Bruce, Constantine and Alla Zaharoff (my adopted mother), and William Miller
that's what it's all about.

Right in the heat-of-the-harvest, right when you are convinced that you don't have time to
do anything 'social', that's when you take off almost the whole day for ceremony and feasting.

It is a tradition for us that comes up at the spur of the moment.  Everybody assembles at a
few days notice with apparent ease.  It's a chance to let our loved ones know that
the unseen worlds are important to us.

Krassi and I have a story that we love to tell certain people...  We were at a trendy
wine shop in Napa called the Bounty Hunter and calling upon a twenty-something that
we were trying to convince to buy our wine.  He was a good guy, but wanted to know
more about us.  We were happy and glib to answer all his questions, except one.
He asked us who our consultant was.
This was a bit of a shock because I am the consultant to others.
But Krassimira and I both thought instantly and independently of the answer,
but we didn't have the nerve to say it.
- God is our consultant -
It went unsaid.  We will never know how he would have taken that: plus? minus?
I doubt he would have taken it neutrally.
That's the beauty of wine, it puts you out there,
in ways that no other product seems to do.

And Speaking of Feasting !
We were so lucky to have a Grand Royal Guard volunteer, William Miller,
who day and night protected the Fig Tree from marauding birds and raccoons.  
His fine dedication allowed us to harvest enough figs that we could have
our favorite starter...  Figs and Prebelito.

- Recipe -

Cool the figs and cut them in half, smelling each one to make sure it's not moldy.  
Arrange them on the plate.  Add a generous slice of Prebelito,
an Italian Gorgonzola that seems to be part Camembert
and is available at Glen Ellen Village Market.  
To that, provide Nairin's mini oatcakes, available at Whole Foods.

To that, add any vintage, any vineyard, of Ahh Pinot Noir and serve ...............
And with a table at the wait, the blessing and the toasting
pleasantly ferments

A n d   e v e r y o n e   l i v e d   i t   u p !

H a p p i l y   e v e r   a f t e r.