Augustine finishing up last row.
Father Bill Lieber, Grace
Church San Marcos, wrote
special prayers for the
occasion. "We ask your
blessing on all who share in
the gift of the fruit of the vine."
The little adobe house at the
base of the vineyard looking out
at Blue Merle Country below.
"Where do you live?" asked Alan
of Paradise Distrillery. He thought
this casita was our tasting room.
Another asked, "Do you command
the whole domain below from this
"We pray for your blessing upon The Blue Merle
Vineyard that the plants may be vigorous and
healthy....Let us enjoy the celebration of life as you
set an example in John 2: 1 -11, when Jesus was
invited to a wedding feast in Cana where he
performed His first miracle [turning water into wine]."
flowers filled the
house. Thank you
everyone for the
A birthday kiss for the bride.
Lum Eisenman, who led a
course on winemaking in July,
2004 we attended and urged
us not to start by making a
5-gallon batch. We ended up
buying a half-ton of grapes.
He leads our monthly
winemaker's meeting at Belle
Fidel, who coordinated
the digging, trellis
system, irrigation and
planting. We're looking
forward to working with
you on transforming this
war zone into a beautiful
Pedro and in the
photo at right
Augustine for their
Jim Larsh, realtor, toastmaster,
rookie winemaker and master
swordsman at decapitating
champagne bottles, spotted the wild
bobcat when navigating the future site
of Blue-Merle Vineyard. Looking to
purchase a home in Blue-Merle
The Queen, general
the whole operation.
The one who kept
things going. The one
who made 5 course
lunches everyday. The
one who said 10 years
ago, "I wish I had a
Mom & Dad, who shared sips of Bordeaux
wines when I was growing up. I remember
hearing dad say once, "I'd like to have a
vineyard when I retire..." Well, here it is,
come on over. We have a pair of pruning
clippers waiting for you.
Mary, Mick, Jeff and the staff of Belle Marie Winery in
Escondido, CA for offering education in winemaking,
encouragement and moral support. If you like our wines, then
you'll love theirs (since they are the masters who are
instructing us in the fine arts). They served their champagne,
Rhapsody, at the festive Christening May 12th.
Kevin (at right)
who helped fill in
the valley and
make the paths
the metal stakes
from the old kiwi
farm was a
Dennis & Steven Wharton, of
Wharton Construction. Dennis has
his own winery at Cadinee
Vineyards, and provides Barons,
Knights and wealthy land owners
with turnkey design & construction of
vineyards. He was kind enough to
consult with us, and lend a helping
auger to drill many of the post holes.
Dennis makes a fine Cabernet,
which we enjoyed on Mother's Day
the day after the Christening. Thank
Bluey, the Blue Merle
Australian Shepard (aka
Australian Wine Dog), who
dreamed of a home in the
country, where he could
roam free and for sport
chase rabbits and birds.
The vineyard was built upon the back
of Jose and his twin brother who
cleared the land (once site of a kiwi
grove 25 years ago) carrying tons of
debris down the mountain to a dump
truck during the heat wave last year.
He found 6 rattlesnakes in two weeks;
the seventh one got away. He
returned May 12th with his bambina,
an honored guest, for a happy
reunion. Mucho gracias Senior Jose!
This celebration was for him and for
all those who helped make this dream
Saturday, May 12th began as another quiet
day at the new little vineyard at the top of
the hill in Blue Merle Country. The fog was
rising, and Augustine arrived just after 7am
to help plant the last row of Tempranillo, the
last of 850 vines, except for 5 holes we left
vacant for any of the guests who wanted to
experience the wholenesss of nature and
plant a vine. Worse than a bride a few
hours before the wedding, the Queen-san
(a certain Japanese matron who will remain
nameless) was making noises about my
working in the vineyard, when I should be
setting up for the reception. I was still in my
work clothes at 3pm when the first guests
arrived -- thank goodness one of them
brought lavender soap as a gift! Over 125
friends and neighbors climbed the mountain
to celebrate the end of construction, and
our new beginning....many of you brought
flowers and other unexpected momentos.
Mick & Mary from Belle Marie Winery
brought a case of "Rhapsody" champagne.
Thank you for sharing this occasion with us.
"We especially offer
thanks for the good
earth where crops are
grown for our
enjoyment. We also
give thanks for the
beauty of the natural
Jim Larsh prepares to cut the neck
cleanly off of the champagne bottle
without spilling a drop, while the tale
of Bobcat first sighted on the
property is retold.
Mike Dunlop (and
Vineyards for all
of their advice