Spring 2017 is Suddenly Here!

At this moment, as I have a glass of Trowbridge Cider, I notice Spring is here and it seems to have been in an instant!  All that rain stopped for a moment and perhaps that moment will increase - but we have had plenty of rain.  Now for the groundwater to replenish, soil microbes to flourish, grass to put on mass, and shoots to bud out and grow with the abundance the rain has provided.  The grass seems to have a mass I have not seen in years even before the drought existed, a stellar winter rain for a farmer to work with after he has repaired the damage from flooding, erosion.  

This calls for celebration!  Even if there are things happening that aren’t desirable...Time is linked to the seasons, it is how we experience time, through the movement of nature's growth, a growth that occurs on a continuum, that continuum is time.  This time of year you can walk daily and see changes, growth changes, more shade comes from more leaves, which is good because more sun comes with longer days.  The days continue to get longer until the Summer Solstice on June 20, after that they begin to get shorter again.  So the time for celebration is now!  Let’s bring some cool stuff out of the cellar and show you how my wines age.  Who does that?  Only Old World, and I’ve got proof in the wines.

Starting May 20, 2017 and every two weeks after that, and continuing through the end of July, I will be releasing and pouring a total of ten Cellar Selection wines from the Old World Winery Library.  Every two weeks I will introduce two new Cellar Selection wines starting with the 2005 Syrah (only 6 cases remain) and the 2006 Two Rock (only 4 cases left).  To make it easy for everyone to participate, the tasting room will stay open until 6PM on each of the Saturday release dates.  I  will update every two weeks with the next Library Wine releases.  

Additionally I will still be pouring my core wines including the 2013 “Luminous” Abouriou, The 2013 “Flow” Syrah and the 2013 “Abundance” Field Blend (1890 Block). Mark your calendars for every other Saturday starting on May 20, so you can be the first to taste and purchase these extraordinary wines before they are all gone.  When they are sold out that's it... no more, nada, zilch, that's all folks.  Please join us as we present these special wines to you.      

Spring is also the time for planting!  We have begun the planting process here at the winery where we have invited people to adopt a vine.  The first part of the process is to put mulch (that I have aged to a compost consistency) on the field to about 5 inches thick which will assist in water retention, add organic matter,  add essential microbes, and bring organic matter back to the soil, all of which will feed the vine in an incredible way.  Then we’ll do stake layout and plant a field blend of interesting things: vines I have grown from seed, scion from 120 years ago (1890 Block), original Riesling scion from the earliest planting in Oregon, and other interesting things that may be picked together or fermented separately depending but most likely producing a sparkling rose!  

Come and check it out, and, oh yeah, to top it off we are building a Tiny House, more on that later!  

With Love, Darek

Tony Immordino
The House Fire at the Winery

In August 2016 my house burned through and I would like to share with you some of my experience.  It has been a transforming experience, like it or not, and one that has provided much to learn from and be a part of the process with.  As the Marines say so well: “Adapt and Overcome”, and this is part of it.  

We had wiped down an outdoor bar with boiled linseed oil for a Friday night event at the winery and there was much chaos in the moments before the event during setup and the rags with the oil on them got placed in my hamper.  They spontaneously combusted early the next morning.  My son Ember got up early and saw the smoke and flames to which he yelled “Fire!”  And we got out, which began the process of loss, fright, bewilderment, togetherness, displacement, asking for help, receiving, adapting, and overcoming as best we could with what was in front of us during those moments.  

The Outdoor Bar.

The Outdoor Bar.

And it was amazing to feel the support of community, so many people showed up in so many ways that it was hard not to feel blessed.  And I began to feel differently about stuff, the firemen referred to “stuff” in general as “fuel load” meaning if a fire starts all that stuff is fuel to make a hotter fire which burns faster and is harder to get contained, hence more structural damage.  For instance a house with less “stuff” has less fuel load and is easier to contain.  Here’s a picture of some of our stuff that we were sorting through after the fire to see what was worth keeping:

Sorting our possessions. 

Sorting our possessions. 

Aside from that, once I became more ok with going inside as we were hauling out the debris and touring with engineers and architects, I realized that there was much in the form of art created by the fire.  A metamorphosis from the process of damage had transformed things in a new and different light.  Light needed to be added to see the beauty so I went through the house with a flashlight and my camera on my phone and took the images that I want to now share with you.  First to give you orientation, here is the back entrance of the house where the fire started, this picture was taken while we were removing debris:

Back entrance to the house. 

Back entrance to the house. 

Here is a close up of the texture that occurred on the siding there in that photo, it is redwood siding and the char adds an incredible texture, the kind that actually started a movement in Japan where they sell a charred siding product that is actually pre-burned!

The charred siding of our house. 

The charred siding of our house. 

As we go up to the office we see some interesting things happened.  The printer is my favorite, it is almost an ode to technology now gone!

Charred remnants of the printer. 

Charred remnants of the printer. 

And melted on our conference table was one of the Solar Tube light diffusers which melted and dropped like a wet pancake and now reminds me of a sci-fi animal foe from a Star Trek episode!

Melted plastic, or foe from space?

Melted plastic, or foe from space?

On that same table was a plastic pack of colored pens that melted into an unusual form:

Melted pens in unusual form. 

Melted pens in unusual form. 

As we enter the house the kitchen cabinet fronts had been melted but when we removed the debris from inside we could see ghost like formations that occurred from having items blocking the heat which created a reverse image, the white being behind the item and once removed left its imprint on the image on the back of the cabinet:

Burned exposure left by the fire.  

Burned exposure left by the fire.  

The original built in cabinets that were still there from 1916 held up the best in the fire having been built of old Douglas Fir and protected their contents the most, here’s an image from that:

100 year old cabinets.

100 year old cabinets.

The refrigerator provided some of the most haunting images with these lava like images from the melted plastic:

Melted plastic lava from the refrigerator. 

Melted plastic lava from the refrigerator. 

But as I was photographing this I was surprised to find this heart in the melted mass:

A heart in the melted mass. 

A heart in the melted mass. 

In the former dining room there became some wallpaper that was behind layers of paint which melted, and when light was put on the fallen debris that gathered on top of one of the original built in Dining cabinets an interesting color arose:

Light casting a rose colored hue. 

Light casting a rose colored hue. 

And within this area you can see one of my favorite pieces that I had to get a close up on and play with the lighting to not have the color effect.  It was the head of an Indian Deity that was sitting on top of the cabinet as part of an altar and it was still there unmelted or burned with it’s head peering out of the debris as if in defiance of what happened saying “I will not let this destroy me!” (and this has been my mantra inside since):

"I will not let this fire destroy me!"

"I will not let this fire destroy me!"

In the bedrooms the heat was around 500 degrees but no open flame, so what happened was soot and heat on the walls created formations.  In my daughter’s room she had some items on top of an antique dresser and these left what looks to me like almost a lotus flower shape:

Fire's destruction indoors. 

Fire's destruction indoors. 

And one of my favorites is the heart that we painted on her wall having all the soot but still visible in an interesting way:

Love finds a way.

Love finds a way.

In my next blog I will cover the “Immaculate Harvest” which occurred the next day so stay tuned! 

Thank you for being here!
With Love, Darek

Tony Immordino