bounty, country, farming, food, Fountain of Youth, Fruit, Galleria, Happiness Project, Wine Wednesday, Winery

Harvest Season

“In seed time learn, in harvest teach, in winter enjoy.” William Blake

There’s something magical about harvest season when you live in wine country. It’s a current of electricity that runs through the everyone and everything. I always think of Dr. Seuss. Ya know those giant machines that come in to clean up after “It 1 and 2 and the kids? Well, there are grape. Picking machines driving on the roads at this time, and Dr Seuss is at the forefront of my thoughts…I kind of giggle like a child when they get in front of me. I can take it for a mile or so, but then I have to pass them, but not without waving like a deranged lunatic. It is just exciting!!

We don’t use machines to harvest our grapes, we have to hire people. My husband as well as our winemaker get out in the field and pick with all the other people working in our fields. Just this past week we have already processes several tons of grapes, and pressed them. So, the fermentation process is already starting for the 2017 wines. I believe the Merlot for this year has already been picked, destemed, and pressed. 

These were photos of the grapes before some of the fruit was dropped. We have to drop fruit so the healthiest grapes will get the most water, and the best sunshine. Depending on the variety, canopy may have to be cut back to get the right amount of sun, or less sun. We want to pick at just the right amount of Brix, which is the sugar content in the grapes, too high, and the wine is too sweet, you want just the right amount to make great wine.

 We try to maintain a sustainable vineyard, and keep the dropped fruit for compost. Once the grapes are pressed the must will be used for more compost to mix back into the soil and boost the soil with microbes that recondition the soil.  Our ducks are always in the vineyard taking care of the slugs, and soon we want to introduce babydoll sheep and chickens. The sheep will help with the grass and cover crops, and the chickens will take care of the insects in the vineyard. The chickens will also give us fantastic eggs to eat. It all makes for better wine every year. A wine that you can enjoy and feel good about drinking. We look forward to getting closer to becoming more biodynamic! 

country, Design, farming, food, Fountain of Youth, Fruit, Fruit, orchard, sweets, farming, pies,organic, food, country,trees,bounty,, Galleria, Happiness Project, orchard, trees, Wine Wednesday, Winery

Traveling, Pouring, and Having Fun

“We should come home from adventures, and perils, and discoveries every day with new experience and character.” Henry David Thoreau

 

One reason why I haven’t been able to keep up with my blog is because I haven’t been able to keep up with my own life.

Honestly, I need a vacation!

Recently, I have been gone just about every weekend. A few weekends past, Sunni and I went to Los Angles. OMG! So, in Los Angles double yellow lines are only suggestions to the people that reside in the area. If you are a visitor in the area of Los Angles make sure that you remember that it is like driving in the wild, wild, west. If you’re in the fast lane, you better being doing at least 70 MPH. AT LEAST…wink, wink.

When I am done working at a venue, I like to take a little side trip to learn something. This particular time, it was going to Mission San Juan Capistrano. Sunni and I rented the head sets, and were off on our adventure through the Mission. It was so beautiful and informative. Here are some photos of our adventure…

 

 

country, Cucina, farming, food, Fountain of Youth, Fruit, Fruit, orchard, sweets, farming, pies,organic, food, country,trees,bounty,, Happiness Project, Morelli Family Sunday, orchard, organic

Olive Oil Pancakes

Not only do we have our Sunday dinners together, but we also enjoy our Sunday breakfast. Anyone that has been to my house knows that I use olive oil for cooking, and that is no different with my pancakes.

 

 

IMG_0053
old fashion bowl

What are you going to need?

2 cups of all purpose flour                        1/2 teaspoon of baking soda

1/2 teaspoon of salt                                       2 large eggs

1 1/2 cup of milk                                         3 tablespoons of Olive oil

Mix all your dry ingredients first, and then add the wet ones. Get as many as the lumps out with the whisk as possible.

While you are mixing the wet ingredients, you may want to turn on your stove top so the skillet gets hot before adding your butter or your olive oil to the skillet.

Use a ladle or a bog spoon to scoop some batter to add to your hot and now oiled or buttered skillet. Depending on the size of your skillet or griddle you can do many or a few, but you will want to flip once tiny bubbles appear on your pancakes.

Once you have them on the plate you or your guests can decide if they want butter or jam on their pancakes. We use hartley farms jams, not only are they our neighbor, but a friend that makes awesome jam!

SaveSaveSaveSave

farming, Fruit, Galleria, Happiness Project, Photography, Wine Wednesday, Winery, Wordless Wednesday

Give Us The Gold

“Nothing is impossible. With so many people saying it couldn’t be done, all it takes is an imagination” Michael Phelps

We have been giving everything we have to the winery. San Marcos Creek Vineyard and Winery has not even been known to the people of the county of San Luis Obispo. We have attended events, entered contests, given blood sweat and tears to every single day.

We finally got a little pay off from this journey when we entered the Los Angles International Wine Competition. We got 2 gold medals!! We scored a 95 out of 100 points, and Best in Class. Our Cabernet Sauvignon has been described as velvety smooth, fruit forward with dusty tannins.

Here is our bottle wearing her hardware…IMG_9635

Collections and Obsessions, Design, Fountain of Youth, Galleria, Happiness Project, Museum Monday

Bill Rhea

IMG_9631

This is one of my favorite paintings in our family room. Bill execution of the painting shows he is heavy handed with the brush, and you really need to get close to the painting to see all the details that Bill wants to show you. The light and shadow playing on the walls of Sienna. You can almost make out the license number on the Fiat 500. The decorative iron hanger that a sign hangs from, on the forefront of the right hand side. A light on top of the sign is beautiful too.

The warmth from the color palate make it perfect for a wall space that is admired, you can stare at it instead of the window. The tower touching the perfect blue sky conjures up a warm spring day with the illusion of nothing going wrong. Just look into the painting and imagine the warm sun hitting your face, and taking in that moment of content.

bounty, country, Cucina, farming, food, Morelli Family Sunday, Photography, San Luis Sunday

Morelli Family Sunday

img_1107

This is one of our favorite meals. The potatoes are really easy, peel your potatoes, set your oven to 400, add olive oil to the cookie sheet, some onions and red peppers and cook until tender. Cook your potatoes first!

The pork rolls are made from pork should cut in long thin strips, add your favorite seasoning. We prefer Tuscan or Italian seasoning, but plenty of cumin. Add bacon on the out side and inside of each strip, then roll tightly. Toothpick the roll together and bake them in the oven for about 30 mins at 400 degrees. You don’t want to make the roll too thick or the meat will not get done on the inside. Add red onions and sweet peppers to cookie sheet and you have a nice meal.

If I was going to have a wine with this one, I would choose our Merlot. Our Merlot is fruit forward and compliments the peppers and pork very nicely.

 

farming, Fountain of Youth, Fruit, orchard, sweets, farming, pies,organic, food, country,trees,bounty,, Galleria, Happiness Project, San Luis Obispo Sites, San Luis Sunday, Winery

Oso Libre

My husband and I met Chris through another friend. We knew him before we owned a winery ourselves. Roberto and Chris took a trip to our 500 acre ranch, where Chris fell in love with our land. He uses the land for his cows. His cows run on the ranch before they go on to become his famous angus burgers.

His family got the name Oso Libre (which means free bears) from their name… Chris and Linda Behr and one of his sons Jeff Freeland and his wife Elizabeth…with the blend they came up with Oso Libre…pretty cool!

I can personally attest to the quality of the wines. One of my favorites, is the 2014 Volado Viognier, it’s crisp, and dry, yet refreshing. I believe every time I have been over to visit I have to purchase a bottle of it. It goes so well with chicken or fish. Although it is fantastic when paired with a meal, it is good enough to stand alone.

The tasting room is beautifully decorated, and the ambiance is warm and inviting. It is refined elegance! The staff welcomes everyone that comes through the doors.

country, Cucina, farming, Fountain of Youth, Fruit, orchard, sweets, farming, pies,organic, food, country,trees,bounty,, Galleria, Happiness Project, orchard, organic, Photography, Saturday Special

Pruning Time

The olive trees need maintenance, just like everything else. This is the time of the year we have to prune all those trees. Their silvery leaves that are billowing in the wind need some trimming. Sometimes, it is a little difficult to find people to do the running since this is also the season to prune for the vines. The climate in this are is perfect for Mediterranean food and faire. It is warm and dry during the day in the summer, and then up to 50 degrees cooler in the evening. Our overall temperatures are very close to southern France. When the averages are compared with the cool nights, our area is a little cooler.

Now, we have had so much rain, and it will impact the flavors of the olives and the grapes. The water from all the rain hasn’t yet soaked into the earth, it’s like a sponge that can’t pick up any more water. The water is just running off, and not being absorbed. This week, we are going to have warm, sunny days, which will allow the some drying before more rains come back to our area. No one is complaining about all the rain, since we really need it to completely recover from our four years of drought. I am so excited to taste the differences in the fruits this year! I’m sure they are ripe with possibilities!

So, what does our olive grove look like now? Here is a photo before the trimming of our Italian variety olive trees.

img_9061

Collections and Obsessions, Design, Fountain of Youth, Galleria, Happiness Project, Museum Monday

Jeremy Mayes

I buy and commission work by artists that I enjoy viewing. I look all around the world instead of focusing in on one area. I try to find the best artist for the job that I envision. Jeremy had some paintings I saw of motorbikes that I just loved. The paintings had a depth that I was seeking. Does the muffler pipe look too hot to touch? Does the paint look fresh on the bike? Is there a personality that can be understood between the art and spectator?

At the time, I was looking for an artist that would paint one of the Lambretta bikes we own. It is a special bike that was a racer, and a favorite of Roberto. I wanted the painting to really showcase the bike, no background, this was all about the bike. The angle shows the piping of the bike beautifully. The light bouncing off the gas tank, the light on the fender, the nubs on the tires, and all that chrome.

Jeremy even painted the Lambretta in watercolor. Watercolor is the unforgiving media. Yet, when a master works with watercolor it is so beautiful. Nothing is taken from the painting. It is crisp, it is fresh, and it speaks to the viewer.

img_2645

Jeremy has done several pieces of art for me, and he has a great eye. Take a look at his some of his other works here.

country, Cucina, farming, food, Fountain of Youth, Fruit, orchard, sweets, farming, pies,organic, food, country,trees,bounty,, Happiness Project, orchard, organic, Photography, Therapy Thursday, Throwback Thursday, Uncategorized

Honey Healing

One of the first weekends we were living in the country, this happened…

I was taking both of the dogs (Cane Corso females) for a walk. Since we were new to the country I did not want to trust to just let them out in the yard. Now, our yard is 42 acres. There are coyotes and other animals around here. I was gazing at the stars when all the sudden Sadie pulled really hard, and I did not let go. I was pulled across the rocks like I was a rag doll. I screamed, and Sheba stopped. Sheba stayed right by my side, and Sadie was running after what ever it was that was near our house. I limped back into the house with Sheba.

I went upstairs and washed my legs with soap and water. I had to take a wash cloth to get all the debris that was embedded in my legs. My left leg looked a lot worse than my right leg. It burned like hell…it was really painful. I took some honey, and put it all over the wounds, and took another wash cloth that was damp and kept it over the wound.

I kept the wound clean every day, and also added honey to it every day. By the third day it was really looking so much better. By two weeks it was healed. I believe I was in less pain, and it healed faster with the honey.