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Update:  This is a video from the Hydeout Sonoma ranch cam at 4 AM Sunday night, October 27th, just before the power went out.  This blog post below was intended to be a celebration of this year‘s harvest,  but with the epic wind/fire/power outages and the suffering around the county, a reality check was necessary:

I wrote a blog post in May full of worry as cold winds and rain were about to pound the just-flowering 2019 grape crop. But as is ever the case in NorCal, that bad weather came and went with no harm done, replaced with nearly perfect blue skies and sunny days. Now all of our client’s 2019 fruit is safely tucked away in barrels – having been carefully harvested, transported, de-stemmed, fermented, pressed, and barreled. Dozens of unique wines from many wonderful locations – including hillside Cabernets, gravelly Zinfandels, 20-year old Syrah vines, epic Sangiovese, jet-black Sagrantino, silky smooth Cab Franc, and aromatic Muscat Canelli.

This was the final bin of fruit – perfectly formed berries and spot-on ripeness…

Final bin

The final barrels of 2019 headed for the wine cave, this ‘cuvee’ is 139 cases of a client’s Sonoma Valley red blend…

Barrels

More news from around the Valley…

Stone Edge FarmThanks to friend Tom Angstadt, I enjoyed a front-row seat for a private tour of the McQuown’s micro-grid, an off-the-grid property purpose-built with solar panels, gas turbine, hydrogen fuel plant, hybrid-ion batteries, and an incredible MIT-alum designed interface that allows full data collection and control from this one screen (seen here). They are openly sharing this technology and may well be racing ahead of the government-funded research on energy independence.

SEF interface

My generous and able tour guide, Tara Deane, in front of the fuel cells that pump hydrogen into their fleet of cars.

SEF1

Dysfunctional Family Winery – New York clients Nic and Denise sent me a photo after they polished off 3 bottles of the (not yet-released) 2017 Dysfunctional Family “Red Blend” (to be fair, missing from this photo is the rest of their great family who helped in their efforts):

Dysfunctional Family

Netflix in Sonoma – A huge surprise to our Sonoma Hyde/Burndale neighborhood (we call it the “Lower-East Side”) was a 9 days-long filming of an episode of Netflix “13 Reasons Why,” which took up the vacant land on three neighboring properties (the main house, as seen in this photo from just over our north fence, was swarming with people and flooded with cherry-picker skylights 24/7, another lot with gear-filled 18-wheelers, toilets, and a giant food tent commissary, and a third lot for dedicated to parking with over 200 cars daily). They routinely stopped traffic to let the vans ferry staff back and forth. Although we all enjoyed watching the process, somehow they managed to obtain a use permit from the County without ever notifying a single neighbor. Especially odd since Hydeout had to notify every neighbor for our very tiny winery use permit.

13 Reasons Why

Vintage Festival Parade – downtown Sonoma was roaring with energy for the annual glow-in-the-dark harvest parade…

Parade Girls

Click here to watch a brief video of the Vintage Festival Parade

End of the summer – as the harvest comes to a close, here is a video celebrating the hot air balloons that have been sailing over the Hydeout all summer long: Hot air balloons over Hydeout Sonoma

Hyde/Burndale Lower-East Side neighborhood pot luck. Held just down the street at the Lucchetti Olive Farm, these volunteer Sheriffs paid us a visit, and we really appreciate their patrol efforts here in the countryside…

Volunteer sheriff

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