Long Meadow Ranch Wine and Olive Oil Release
Makes Napa Valley History
October, 1999, Napa Valley, CA
Long Meadow Ranch Winery breaks through historical and philosophical boundaries with the simultaneous release of its debut vintage 1996 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon and its vintage 1998 Prato Lungo extra virgin olive oil. Significantly, these products represent the first ever produced and released concurrently from Napa Valley’s only combined winery and olive oil frantoio.
This debut by Long Meadow Ranch, with its rich history dating to 1872, culminates a decade-long project to restore the unique Napa Valley property nestled in the hills high above Rutherford. Using traditional methods, world class red wine and olive oil are hand-crafted exclusively from fruit grown organically on this innovative ranch. Keeping with owner Ted and Laddie Hall’s philosophy that it is necessary to create a more balanced use of Napa Valley land rather than maintaining the predominant winegrape monoculture, this joint product release demonstrates Long Meadow Ranch’s commitment to sustainable farming principles.
Following a long, cool ripening season, the fruit for the 1996 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, under the careful eye of winemaker, Cathy Corison, was crushed at Long Meadow Ranch’s new estate winery facility. With the crew wearing hard hats and ducking construction cranes, this was the first wine produced at the AIA-award winning Long Meadow Ranch Winery. Taking full advantage of the natural flavors produced by the 1100-foot high Mayacamas Mountains vineyard, this complex wine features intense blackberry and deep black cherry flavors with firm, yet approachable, tannins. "After five vintages of quietly working with this vineyard, we are convinced the wine reflects a truly distinctive terroir," said winemaker Corison. This elegant, sophisticated wine is noted for its long finish and is a perfect complement to food.
In its first public appearance of any kind, the 1996 Cabernet Sauvignon created excitement among the distinguished group of wine professionals and collectors gathered at the 1999 Napa Valley Wine Auction. Following a lively competition for the exclusive debut wine, San Francisco wine collector and one of the top-ten auction bidders, Frank Husic, purchased a single six-liter bottle of the 1996 Cabernet Sauvignon with an $11,000 winning bid.
Keeping with the ingenuity and philosophy of Long Meadow Ranch, the wine packaging is created from recycled paper and the label features a complete wrap-around design with no definitive front or back. The wine is sold only in cases of six 750ml bottles and a very limited supply of 1.5l bottles packaged in a three bottle case.
The 1998-vintage Prato Lungo, ultra-premium, estate-grown, -produced and -bottled extra virgin olive oil is only the second production from the property’s 120 year-old olive grove high on Napa Valley’s Mayacamas mountainside. Meaning "long meadow" in Italian, Prato Lungo is the product of olive trees, probably related to the French Picholine variety, believed to have been shipped around Cape Horn from Provence as cuttings in the 1870’s.
Long Meadow Ranch’s world-class Pieralisi olive oil production installation features a traditional stone olive crusher and the most up-to-date two-phase horizontal decanting system, one of only two in America. With the crusher onsite near the olive groves, the Ranch has the ability to process olives within two hours of picking and, by employing the world’s best methods for low temperature processing, the highest quality product is ensured.
With an acidity of .052 percent, a nearly unheard-of twenty times below the standard for extra virgin olive oil, this hand-crafted oil presents a fresh, tropical fruit in the nose, with a touch of pepper on the finish. The resulting total lack of greasiness and fresh clean flavors make the oil a perfect complement to bread, to dress lightly cooked fresh vegetables, or to season sliced ripe tomatoes.
Wine and olive oil are only two of the many products from Ted and Laddie Hall’s more than 600-acre Long Meadow Ranch. The property has been known as Long Meadow Ranch since the turn of the century and was an original "patent grant" ranch signed over by President Ulysses S. Grant to E.J. Church in 1872. Having been home to a variety of uses during its long history, Long Meadow Ranch is once again growing and prospering through the Halls’ careful restoration of the olive groves, new vineyard plantings, and wine and olive oil making. The integrated organic farming system also relies on its Appaloosa horse breeding, a growing herd of Scottish Highland cattle, the organic vegetable gardens and an egg-producing poultry flock to bring together a modern, commercially successful, version of the family farm.
"At Long Meadow Ranch, we set out to prove that we could produce world class products using simple sustainable farming methods," says Ted Hall. "We have developed an integrated farming system that relies on each part of the Ranch contributing to the health of the whole - we make our own fertilizers on the Ranch through an extensive composting opera-ti on that relies on each segment of the Ranch. We produced over 100 tons of compost last year. Soil erosion is controlled and new soils are built through the use of permanent cover crops of indigenous grasses, clovers and legumes." Long Meadow Ranch does not use herbicides or pesticides and all of its crops are organically grown and produced in accordance with the California Organic Foods Act of 1990.
The 1996 Long Meadow Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon, in a case of either six 750ml bottles or three 1.5l bottles, is available in limited supply for $350.00, which includes shipping and tax within the state of California. The wine may be ordered by mail to the winery address at 1775 Whitehall Lane, St. Helena, California, 94574, or through the website at www.longmeadowranch.com.
Prato Lungo extra virgin olive oil is available in a limited supply for $50 per 500ml bottle, including shipping, and may be ordered through the winery at the toll-free number (877) NAPA-OIL (627-2645) or through the website at www.longmeadowranch.com.
Contact: Monty J. Sander