THE BEET: news & notes from the ranch

April 2017


Over the past several months, The Beet has highlighted our estates, taking you on a journey through the organically farmed vineyards and orchards. Today, we are showcasing Farmstead, our destination for food and wine in St Helena. Farmstead features a restaurant, café, general store, farmer’s market, and several dynamic event spaces, and is the property most visitors come to experience all that Long Meadow Ranch has to offer in one location.

At our restaurant, Long Meadow Ranch’s celebrated American farmhouse cuisine is rooted in the Hall family tradition of showcasing ingredients fresh from our farm, ranch, and vineyards.

Our connection to rugged mountain terrain, mineral-rich riverbed benchland, and cool coastal air is tangible through the dishes and ambiance carefully curated by the Halls and our artisans. The talents of chefs, farmers, cattle ranchers, winemakers, and restaurant managers create a Napa Valley experience like no other.

Our charming outdoor café is nestled under a picturesque blue spruce tree at the north end of Farmstead.

Visitors and locals alike start their day at the café with Stumptown coffee, relax on the red Adirondack chairs, and post up with family and friends at the picnic tables to noshing on house-made pastries, salads and paninis. The café is also the perfect spot to grab lunch to go!

Curated to replicate the Long Meadow Ranch experience at home, our collection of wines, olive oils, and seasonal provisions at the general store are made by our artisans or handcrafted by friends from Napa Valley and beyond who support local and sustainable practices.

Don’t miss the tasting bar for a flight of Long Meadow Ranch wines,

a flight of small batch whiskey,

or a sampling our olive oil next time you’re in Napa Valley.

Beginning this month, we are excited to announce that you can take home a bottle of Farmstead Bloody Mary Mix (just add vodka!) and Farmstead BBQ Sauce from the general store. If you’ve ever had the pleasure of sipping a bloody mary or tasted our finger lickin’ good ribs at the restaurant, you can now enjoy them at home with these products! We will also offer these products on our website in the near future.

Everyday at the general store at Farmstead, we offer our Chef's Table experience; an elegant and intimate chef-guided, multi-course lunch or dinner paired with a selection of Long Meadow Ranch wines in our historic Logan Ives House (the historical name of the white farmhouse where our general store lives).

Our estate chef brings the best of the season from our farm to showcase our organic produce, grass-fed beef and lamb, and olive oils. Perhaps even more important, these dishes are created to complement our wines. Our Anderson Valley winemaker, Stéphane Vivier always says that wine is an ingredient. This experience truly demonstrates that sentiment.

Farmer’s markets are where the large scale diversified farming at Long Meadow Ranch began.

 The Halls planted their first garden at the Long Meadow Ranch Mayacamas Estate in the early 90s and have been growing produce and more ever since!

You’ll still find Laddie at the Farmstead farmer’s market every week selling our organic produce, beef, honey and more.

To wrap up our "tour" of Farmstead, we take a peek at our diverse and unique selection of event spaces. From picturesque outdoor venues to intimate indoor spaces, Farmstead has it all! For intimate family gatherings, wedding for 300, or business meetings and team building, the Farmstead lawn, barn, potting shed, café, pergola and more offer idyllic Wine Country settings for any event.

We also love offering fun events each to celebrate the seasons like our annual egg hunt and Derby party.

If you are a bluegrass music fan, our Bluegrass-fed concert series is not to be missed! Bring a blanket, find your favorite spot on the lawn and enjoy a glass of Long Meadow Ranch wine while you jam out to some of the country's best bluegrass bands.

Our guest chef dinner series is also a unique way to taste Long Meadow Ranch wines alongside dishes cooked over and served from our live fire pit by the Farmstead culinary team and a chef visiting from... well, anywhere from New York City to Stockholm, Sweden.

Next time you're in Napa Valley, come visit us at Farmstead!


Name? Bill Jensen

What is your role at Long Meadow Ranch?

My duties are primarily overseeing the day to day ranch operations and being a consultant on anything from cattle decisions to pasture maintenance, fencing, new approaches to all ranch concepts and riparian improvements. I work with Jose Luis on what are the most urgent priorities on the approximately 1,500 acres of LMR and adjacent ranches where the cattle graze. The close proximity of Jensen Ranch to LMR was a great fit for me and a mutual benefit for LMR, because all of our properties touch.

Tell us a little bit about you and Jensen Ranch.

Jensen Ranch is a fifth generation ranch that has never been bought or sold. It was homesteaded by my Great Great Grandfather in 1856 when he immigrated from Belfast, Ireland. Now, seven generations have lived on this ranch, which is adjacent to LMR.

My wife, Eileen, is my high school sweetheart. She is a nurse practitioner at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital and should be retiring in a couple of years. We have two children, Christine, 36, and James (Jim), 32, both married and have stellar careers in their chosen fields. Jim is assuming the day to day operations of Jensen ranch, while I oversee our home ranch and LMR in Tomales.

I also help my son Jim manage about 1,000 head of sheep and lambs, which we have owned for about 30 years. Some are slaughtered for use in the LMR restaurant at Farmstead and are seasonally available at Laddie’s farmer’s market stands.

I judged livestock on the collegiate level and have volunteered as a leader for youth groups in livestock and wildlife conservation efforts.

I still shear sheep, albeit not on a professional level any longer. My father, brother and I used to sheer about 20,000 head a year in between running our own flock of about 1,500 mother sheep.

The (Jensen) ranch was awarded and recognized at the CA State Fair as being one of the 10 longest continually family owned and operated ranches in the state of California. The past five years, three being drought and two being flood, have brought on interesting challenges. We’ve gone from having to haul water to livestock to trying to keep them from being stranded in flood waters.

What do you do when you’re not tending to the ranch?

My hobbies are those that one would normally associate with growing up in the country: fishing, hunting, clam digging, card playing, and really just anything that comes along. I’m very competitive and try to do everything on its highest level from work to play.

What trends are you seeing in the industry? Are they bringing up any challenges?

The trends in livestock are going, maybe not organic, but grass-fed, antibiotic free, and sustainable. So, we’re all running around trying to find the niche markets. In a nutshell, the trends are to seek out good products and to market your products to be as wholesome as possible. That is a really important concept to consumers.

There are some interesting challenges in dealing with the logistics of trying to produce a farm to table product. Juggling several different age classes of cattle, pasture availability, timing of calving, breeding for a better product, balancing seasonal pasture grazing in sensitive riparian areas, developing new solar based watering systems for cattle, and assisting with the potato planting, maintenance, and harvest. The biggest problem out in this area has been in the chore of constantly repairing fences that motorists keep crashing. One section in particular has been damaged 12 times in the last 14 months, so we almost budget ranch fence time into our daily routine, just making sure the roadway fences are intact!


Celebrate spring with a cool glass of our Rosé of Pinot Noir and this peppery salad.

Makes 4 starter salads

3 oz mixed baby lettuces
2-3 oz pea shoots
1/2 oz mixed edible flowers, we used pansies
2 nantes carrots, shaved
2 breakfast radishes, shaved
1/4 head fennel, shaved
4 goat cheese croquettes (recipe below)
1 c lemon dressing (recipe below)


Cut the baby lettuces into bite-sized pieces, submerge in cold water for 2 minutes to crisp, then dry thoroughly. Repeat, if necessary. Set aside in a large bowl.

Using a japanese mandolin or vegetable peeler, shave the radishes, carrots, and fennel into an ice water bath to crisp. Right before serving, drain and dry the shaved vegetables.

In a large bowl, toss the baby lettuces and shaved vegetables with ¼ cup of lemon dressing. Garnish with edible flowers and goat cheese croquettes.

2 oz Skyhill Farm chevre or other high quality goat cheese
2 farm eggs
1 c all purpose flour
1 c panko bread crumbs
3 c rice or vegetable oil for frying


To make the croquettes, roll the goat cheese into 1/2 oz balls.

Set up a standard breading station: bowl of flour, a bowl of whisked eggs, and a bowl of bread crumbs. First roll the goat cheese in the flour to coat, next the egg, and finish with the bread crumbs.

Heat oil in a heavy bottom, 2 quart sauce pan until 350℉. Carefully lower the croquettes into the oil with a slotted spoon or skimmer and fry until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Remove the croquettes with the slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel.

Lemon Dressing
1/4 c fresh lemon juice
3/4 c LMR Napa Valley Select Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 tsp Dijon mustard
salt and fresh cracked pepper


Place all ingredients in a jar and shake until combined (emulsified). 

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This entry was posted on March 16, 2017.

February 2017



Our Anderson Valley Estate, in Mendocino County, stretches over a diverse mix of elevations with the Navarro River forming the southern boundary and cool sea breezes from the Pacific bringing the marine layer through our vines.

Located in the west or “deep end” of the Anderson Valley, approximately 100 miles north of San Francisco, our estate has 69 acres planted to Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Gris.

With the Navarro River to the southeast and close proximity to the Pacific Ocean, a natural marine layer blankets the vineyards and creates terroir ideal for our estate-grown Burgundian varietals to mature slowly and ripen to the peak of their varietal character.

The mix of elevations, natural mixed forest vegetation (Coast Redwood, native oak varieties and Douglas fir), and diurnal temperature swings consistently at 40 to 50 degrees, we produce wines from our Anderson Valley Estate that are driven by the personality of the terroir with the muscular tannins of the Sonoma Coast combined with darker fruit tones of the Russian River.

Anderson Valley has evolved greatly since the 1850’s. Once its mainstay, apple orchards have almost completely been replaced with vineyards that produce some of the world’s best wines. We are thrilled to be a part of this up and coming wine region.


Joseph Rutherford Hardin

What is your role at Long Meadow Ranch (LMR)?
Director of Agricultural Operations;
Farming: Wine grapes, fruits, vegetables, olives, olive oil & farmers market.
Ranching: Cattle, horses, chickens, turkeys, sheep, bees, landscape & facilities.

How long have you been with LMR?
3rd growing season.

What has been your favorite project at LMR?
Farm to table.

What do you wish other people knew about LMR?
The benefits of an integrated farming system or “full-circle farming.”

Tell us how you got into farming. Was it a natural fit from the start or did you take various avenues before landing in the field?
I was given the opportunity to be in family farming/ranching my entire life.

What kind of trends are you seeing in the agriculture and livestock industry?
The scarcity of farmland.

What inspires you?
My children.

Best vacation you have ever taken?
Backpacking to the Stone House.

Red or white wine?
White before Red.

Bike or motorcycle?
Honda dirt bikes.

Sushi or pizza?
La Prima Pizza.

Mountains or ocean?
A valley between the mountains and ocean…


A crisp Pinot Gris pairs perfectly with this cheesy vegetable galette.


Recipe Courtesy: Michael Markoff

Serves 2 to 3 as appetizer

½ C ricotta
½ C parmesan cheese, grated
½ C skyhill goat cheese, crumbled
1 bunch rainbow swiss chard, leaves and stems separated and roughly chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 T mixed garden herbs (tarragon, parsley, chives), rough chopped
1 T LMR Napa Valley Select Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 large egg yolk
Salt and pepper to taste

1 shell (see dough recipe below or use store bought pie crust)

Special equipment: stand mixer


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet on medium high heat and cook garlic until fragrant. Add the chard, season with salt and pepper, and cook until slightly wilted. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.

In a stand mixer, combine the ricotta, parmesan and goat cheese. Add herbs. Remove from mixer and fold in the cooled chard.

To make the shell, roll the dough into a 12 inch round circle, ¼ inch thick, on a sheet of parchment.

Spread the chard mixture evenly across the dough leaving a 2 inch border. Slowly bring the edges of the dough up overlapping as needed to create a border and brush generously with the egg yolk.

Transfer the galette on the parchment to a baking sheet. Bake for 12-15 minutes until golden.

Let it cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet before serving. Slice & enjoy!

2 ¼ C all-purpose flour
1 cup (8 oz) unsalted butter, cold and cut into pieces
¼ C cold water
1 tsp salt


In a stand mixer, combine the flour and salt, then add the butter and blend until combined.

Slowly add the cold water, while the mixer is running, until the mixture is combined, but not sticky (about 30 seconds). Only use as much water as necessary. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill at least one hour or overnight.

Tags: vineyards recipe winter artisan anderson valley wine

This entry was posted on February 07, 2017.

January 2017



Our Rutherford Estate sits on a mineral-rich benchland that was once a riverbed on the
floor of the Napa Valley and is now home to vineyards, fruits and vegetables,
beehives, and our flock of egg-laying chickens.

There are 74 acres planted to Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot.

With over 500 varietals of organic heirloom fruits and vegetables, our diverse ranch defies the
monoculture that reigns supreme in Napa Valley. Our chefs collaborate with our agriculture team to carefully select varietals that will thrive and provide the finest produce for our restaurant and farmer’s market throughout the year. Our bounty includes Purple Dark Opal basil, Black from Tula tomatoes, Delicata squash, Chioggia beets, Green Globe artichokes, Purple Peruvian potatoes, Blenheim apricots, Arctic Rose nectarines, Pink Pearl apples, Seascape strawberries and, of course, Black Mission figs from our 100-year old tree, to name a few.

Our growing flock of chickens roost in a state-of-the-art coop on our Rutherford Estate.

The Ameraucanas, Black Australorps, Buckeyes and Cuckoo Marans savor organic fruits and vegetables we cannot use in our restaurant or sell at the farmer’s market. These supplemental snacks produce the most gorgeous orange egg yolks! In turn, their manure is a vital part of our compost, adding much needed nitrogen to our fertilizer.

Our beekeeper is fond of the quote attributed to Einstein, "If the bee disappears from the surface of the earth, man would have no more than four years to live." We believe honeybees are an integral part of our sustainable farming methods. Our colony of honeybees is hard at work pollinating our fruits, vegetables and vineyards, as well as producing Long Meadow Ranch's delectable organic honey.


Justin Carr

What is your role at Long Meadow Ranch (LMR)?
Winemaker for the Long Meadow Ranch Rutherford Estate.

How long have you been with LMR?
I joined LMR in May 2016.

What has been your favorite project at LMR?
Preparing for and completing the 2016 harvest has been all encompassing so far, ask me again in a year!

What do you wish other people knew about LMR?
That LMR is far more to Napa Valley than just the products we make. LMR is a leader in the stewardship of this valley we all collectively farm, not only utilizing organic and sustainable practices, but always trying to improve them.

Tell us how you got into winemaking. Was it a natural fit from the start or did you take various avenues before landing in the field?
I’m one of the many that came to the industry after other endeavors. Of course, I love the product, but I was also drawn to the process. In winemaking, I saw a gratifying combination of a very active work lifestyle, science, and art.

What kind of trends are you seeing in the wine industry?
We seem to be in a period of consolidation, many larger operations adding other wineries big and small to their portfolios. I’m proud to be part of a thriving family-owned and managed business.

What inspires you?
The beauty and power in nature.

Best vacation you have ever taken?
Ten amazing days in Portugal!

Red or white wine?

Bike or motorcycle?
Bike, absolutely. I banned myself from the motorized versions 15 years ago after a bad accident. I’m not ready to be an organ donor, yet!

Sushi or pizza?

iPhone or Android?
The one that doesn’t spontaneously catch fire.

Mountains or ocean?

Ocean, many of my favorite places have the sound of crashing waves.


A crisp Sauvignon Blanc pairs perfectly with the creamy broccolini purée and burrata.


Recipe Courtesy: Kipp Ramsey
Serves 4 to 6 as appetizer


1 4oz ball burrata
2 bunches broccolini
¼ C LMR Napa Valley Select Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil or high quality extra virgin olive oil, plus more for finishing
1 T fresh lemon juice
1 tsp kosher salt
fresh ground black pepper
¼ C pecans, toasted
1 tsp Farmstead Chef’s Finishing Salt or other flake finishing salt

Special equipment: blender


Preheat oven to 400F.

Blanch broccolini for 30 – 45 seconds in salted, boiling water. Remove broccolini from water and shock ¾ in an ice bath, remove and set aside on a paper towel lined plate.

Place the remaining broccolini, still warm, in a blender. Puree with extra virgin olive oil, kosher salt and lemon juice. If the purée is too thick, add more extra virgin olive oil.

Heat a grill to medium high and toss the chilled broccolini with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill the broccolini until it gets some nice char.

Place the burrata on a heat safe dish and heat in the oven for one minute.

To plate, place ½ cup broccolini purée in the middle of a bowl, then place the burrata on top of the purée. Arrange the grilled broccolini around the burrata as desired. Finish with toasted pecans, chef’s finishing salt, fresh ground black pepper and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.

For variations on this dish, substitute any vegetables you might use for fondue (carrots, romanesco, cauliflower), garnish with shaved radishes or pickled onions, almonds or seeds, or serve with grilled bread.

Chef’s note: Use the purée within 3 days or freeze for up to 6 months. The color of the purée will oxidize if not used the same day. Freezing will help preserve the color.

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This entry was posted on February 02, 2017.

December 2016



In the late 1800’s, the original Long Meadow Ranch property thrived with vineyards, apple orchards, olive groves, hay, a goat milk dairy, and a long meadow (our namesake and the image below) until farming fell dormant during Prohibition. Over the following years, the property became swallowed by the encroaching forest until the Halls bought the property in 1989.

Home to our Mayacamas Estate, the rugged 650-acre landscape nestled in the foothills of the
Mayacamas Mountains was revitalized according to the Hall family vision of crafting world-class wines
(and later olive oil) using sustainable, organic farming practices.


Today, our Mayacamas Estate is home to vineyards, olive groves, our rammed-earth winery and frantoio
(Italian for olive mill), an apple orchard, a sweeping meadow, and our Highland bulls.

We grow 16 acres of vineyard to produce estate-grown Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot,
Sangiovese and Cabernet Franc. These wines exhibit classic characteristics of their mountain terroir.

We also cultivate 16 acres of olive groves. Eight of these acres are planted with the oldest olive trees in Napa Valley. The varietal of these olives is unknown, but we believe them to be a relative of the Picholine.
The fruit is used to produce our acclaimed Prato Lungo Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

With sweeping views of Rutherford, our rammed earth winery was built with the earth that was removed
from the mountainside when we dug the cave. Rammed earth is an ancient, sustainable building technique
combining natural materials with a stabilizer like clay or sand to build strong, natural structures.
The winery houses our tasting room, wine production equipment and frantoio.

View from our Mayacamas Estate of Rutherford on the valley floor.

Our rammed earth winery.

Our frantoio (Italian for olive mill).

Our apple orchard was planted in 2015 with Gravensteins.
These tart apples are ideal for cooking and for making cider (hint, hint).

Kings of our mountain, our Highland bulls, reside at our Mayacamas Estate for the majority of the year.
They make an annual visit to our Tomales Station to visit the ladies (cows and heifers)
when it’s breeding time. We said goodbye to our beloved Custom Made, the oldest bull in our fold,
in November. He lived a long, fruitful life, ultimately siring most of our fold.


Sean McEntire

What is your role at Long Meadow Ranch (LMR)?
Mill Master and Orchard Consultant

How long have you been with LMR?
13 Years

What has been your favorite project at LMR?
Bringing the olive orchards to their fullest potential.

What do you wish other people knew about LMR?
They are going to conquer the valley.

Tell us how you got into making olive oil. Was it a natural fit from the start or did you take various avenues before landing in the field?
My background is in landscaping, specializing in roses and fruit trees. I was working for a family that had invested in an olive mill and they asked if I would be interested in running it, that hooked me for life and I am so thankful.

What kind of trends are you seeing in the industry?
Olive oil is getting better and better and better. Consumers are learning more about the industry and are looking for the best olive oil they can get their hands on.

What inspires you?

Best vacation you have ever taken?
Kauai with my smokin’ hot wife

Red or white wine?

Bike or motorcycle?

Sushi or pizza?

iPhone or Android?

Mountains or ocean?
Let’s go


The freshness of the herbs pairs beautifully with the balanced acidity
and soft tanins of our Cabernet Sauvignon.


Recipe Courtesy: Stephen Barber
Serves 4


1 cup cracked bulgur wheat
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
Zest and juice of 1 lemon or lime
Salt to taste
½ – 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3-4 scallions
¼ cup fresh chopped cilantro
¾ cup fresh chopped mint
¼ cup chopped chive
½ cup fresh chopped Italian parsley
1/8 cup chopped dried cherries
1/8 cup golden raisins
1 cup pomegranate seeds
¼ cup chopped apple
1/8 cup + 1 tbsp olive oil


Boil bulgur wheat in 2 cups water and add rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper.

Cover and let it simmer for 15-20 minutes until wheat is cooked and water has been absorbed.

Immediately add lemon zest and 1 tablespoon of oil and fluff it up with a fork. Allow to cool.

Toss the bulgur wheat with scallions, cilantro, chive, parsley, mint, dried cherries, golden raisins, pomegranate seeds, apple, lemon juice and rest of the oil.

Serve as a side dish or as a complete meal.

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This entry was posted on February 02, 2017.

November 2016


Winemaking 101

As 2016 harvest comes to an end, we thought it would be fun to take a look at
a grape's journey from crushpad to barrel.

At our Mayacamas Estate, we receive grapes from our nearby vineyards within minutes of harvest.
The first step is to put the fruit through a destemmer.

What we’re left with is fruit and stems.
The stems go into our compost to become fertilizer for the farm and ranch.

After the fruit has been destemmed, it is fed into a steel tank (1500 gallons to 2500 gallons) or a T-bin (240 gallons), depending on the amount of fruit, for fermentation. We use large hoses and a pump to push the grapes into the appropriate tank or T-bin (each block goes into its own tank or T-bin).

Once the fruit is in tank or T-bin, it stays there for the fermentation process. We have to constantly rotate the juice from the bottom of the tank to the top to break up the pomace (or skins) cap that forms
at the top--skins float. In our tanks, we have an arm that spins around the inside of the tank
spraying the juice over the pomace cap. This is called a “pump over.”

For the smaller lot wines in T-bins, we “punch down” the pomace cap to break it up.
The juice and the skins need to be in contact all the time.

Our winemakers have to monitor the temperature of the fermenting grapes to make sure it is
warm enough, but not too warm for the yeast to eat the sugar and eventually become alcohol.
The juice cannot exceed 90℉ or the yeast will be inhibited and consequently die.

Here, our Mayacamas Estate Winemaker Sal Godinez is looking for flaws
in the fermentation and aroma development...

... and samples some of the fermenting juice.

After fermentation is complete, the pomace is separated from the fermented juice. This fermented juice is called Free Run and is moved to a settling tank or T-bin for two days before it is racked (or siphoned) off the gross lees. Gross lees refers to debris that has settled to the bottom of the tank or T-bin. “Gross” refers to the size of the debris. When you make wine from fresh fruit, it is inevitable that some of the grape skins, seeds, and perhaps even a stray stem could wind up in the bottom of your tank or T-bin.

The pomace then goes into the press.

Our press has a large bladder inside with little holes. The bladder shrinks, squeezing all of the fermented juice
out of the pomace. This fermented juice is called Press Fraction.
You can still press approximately 15% more fermented juice from the pomace at this point.
It is kept separate from the Free Run, as it has a different flavor profile.

Fermented juice coming out of the press (aka Press Fraction).

Sal samples some of the fermented juice to determine press cuts or separations
for the first 50% of Press Fraction. The wine that comes out in the first few minutes
is not as astringent as the last gallons, so they are separated.

After two days of settling, the wine is ready to be transferred (or racked) to the
oak barrels selected for each lot. Follow the hose from tank to barrel...

Each wine spends a different amount of time in barrel, depending on the flavor, color
and body profile our winemakers are trying to achieve.

And then, we blend and bottle. But, we’ll save that story for another time.

How to spot a winemaker:

Water resistant boots...

...and purple hands.


Tim Wilson

What is your role at Long Meadow Ranch (LMR)?
I am one part winemaker, one part production manager and one part problem solver. I am the winemaker for the LMR Farmstead range of wines and also manage packaging, bottling and logistics for all wines, olive oil, vinegar and grappa made by LMR. As a result, I get to wear a lot of different hats and no two days are the same.

How long have you been with LMR?
Since July 2015.

What has been your favorite project at LMR?
In 2016, we redesigned all of our olive oil bottles and packaging. I worked with our olive oil maker, marketing team, and suppliers to create a final package that is functional and eye-catching. I got a tremendous feeling of pride in helping bottle these world-class olive oils. It also made me appreciate how much creativity and talent there is within LMR.

What do you wish other people knew about LMR?
How unique our wines and winemaking style is. When you taste our wines, you are struck by how different they are to most of our peers’ wines. Our wines demonstrate an uncompromising commitment to expressing the delicate and nuanced characteristics of our estate vineyard sites. They also show that our goal is not to chase block-buster wines and high scores.

Tell us how you got into winemaking. Was it a natural fit from the start or did you take various avenues before landing in the field... etc.?
I am a native of Sydney, Australia and started my working life as a lawyer. I quickly realized that this career path had limited opportunity for creative endeavors and (much to the disappointment of my mother) enrolled in a Masters program in winemaking. Over the next few years, I collected winemaking experience in Washington State, New Zealand, Germany, Australia, and the Willamette, Sonoma, and Napa Valleys. Like many professional refugees in the wine industry, I have never looked back.

What kind of trends are you seeing in the wine industry?
An increasing focus on sustainable winegrowing, energy and water efficient winemaking, and environmentally conscious packaging. Think organic viticulture, water recycling in wineries, and putting wines into keg rather than bottles.

What inspires you?
People who have built successful businesses that create jobs and can give back to the community.

Best vacation you have ever taken?
Trekking to Everest Base Camp.

Red or white wine?
Red, White, Pink, Sparkling and even Brown.

Bike or motorcycle?
Mountain bike on Mt Tam.

Sushi or pizza?

iPhone or Android?

Mountains or ocean?
Mountains with my Aussie Cattle Dog.


Our Sauvignon Blanc pairs perfectly with this colorful fall salad.
The citrus aromatics and crisp finish balance the combination of persimmons, radish, and citrus.


Recipe Courtesy: Kipp Ramsey
Serves 4-6


3 Fuyu Persimmon, large dice
1 bunch Easter Egg Radish, thinly sliced
1 blood orange, segmented
½ c walnuts, toasted and chopped finely
½ c citrus dressing, recipe below
1 bag arugula or mustard greens
Chefs finishing salt, such as Maldons

Napa Valley Select Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil or other high quality EVOO
Optional: Espelette chili or hoshigaki (preserved Hachiya persimmon)


Lightly dress the persimmons and sliced radish with citrus dressing. Season with salt and arrange on your serving dish. Toss greens with remaining dressing and place on top. Add the blood orange segments around the plate. Finish with walnuts, a drizzle of honey and olive oil.

Citrus Dressing
Yield 1 cup


¼ c lemon juice
1 tsp Dijon mustard
Honey, to taste
¾ c Napa Valley Select Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil or other high quality EVOO
Salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste


Whisk together lemon juice, Dijon mustard and honey in a medium mixing bowl. Drizzle in extra virgin olive oil while whisking until emulsified. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.

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This entry was posted on February 02, 2017.

October 2016


Flashback to May when we planted our spuds in Tomales. You may recall, we planted 57 rows, each 750 feet long with a seed potato planted approximately every 12 inches, which we crossed our fingers would produce 6 potatoes per plant.

Potatoes in Tomales are essentially dry farmed, because there is enough Spring soil moisture to germinate the potato and grow the crop without irrigation.

Flash forward to last month: Let’s see how the tubers did!

How do we know when it’s time to harvest? When the vines that grow above the potatoes start to die. The first step is to mow these vines, so they don’t clog the digger.

Next, Cole Petersen, our neighbor in Tomales, setup his family’s 1950s John Deere potato digger. Historically, this was a digger that was pulled by a team of horses, but it has since been adapted for tractor use--it is still manually operated though. There is a forward blade between two heavy iron wheels with a driver’s seat mounted on top of the axle.

The driver would sit on the seat and adjust the angle of the blade as the digger moved through the rows. Now that we don’t have a driver riding the digger, Cole had to adjust the blade before the digging really started. It is very important that the angle of the blade is set properly, so that it does not slice the potatoes during the harvest process. The blade must be deep enough to go under the potatoes, but not so deep that it gets stuck in any wet soil.

The digger has a slotted elevator made of steel bars that are linked together. The gaps between the bars enable soil and other debris to be separated from the potatoes and fall back onto the field.

The potatoes move up the elevator, with minimal agitation to avoid bruising, and fall into a narrow line behind the tractor.

Our awesome crew follows the tractor gathering all of the potatoes into buckets for bagging.

Buckets are emptied into mesh bags (when full, each one weighs 60lbs)
for transport back to Rutherford where...

… the 16,000 pounds of Yukon Golds and Red La Sodas are separated by varietal by hand!
(ignore the “onion” labels)


Mean Gene Dancing Machine (Gene Hall)

What is your role at Long Meadow Ranch (LMR)?
Sous chef

How long have you been with LMR?
Six years as of October 10, 2016

What has been your favorite project at LMR?
Creating dishes with the produce coming in from the farm.

What do you wish other people knew about LMR?
What our cooks take on everyday. Our restaurant has grown so much over the last 6 years, and the cooks have been able to keep up and continue to make great food.

What kind of trends are you seeing in the food industry?
Farm to table is everywhere.

Tell us how you got into cooking. Was it a natural fit from the start or did you take various avenues before landing in the field?
From the age of 18 to 21 I worked as an electrician. Once work started slowing down, I started thinking of what else I’d like to pursue. Cooking has always been something I loved doing. My grandfather was a chef from Hawaii and taught me a little growing up. So, I went to school in Sacramento and found a job working at a Hawaiian restaurant. I started washing dishes and learning from the line cooks in my down time. On my days off, I would walk into the back doors of kitchens asking to hang out for the day. My cousin was working at Farmstead and told me there was a job opening, so I applied and got the job and have been here ever since.

What inspires you?
The change of seasons.

Best vacation you have ever taken?
Three months in Baja California.

Red or white wine?

Bike or motorcycle?

Sushi or pizza?
Cold pizza

iphone or Android?

Mountains or ocean?



Recipe courtesy: Stephen Barber
Servings: 8

4 Yukon Gold potatoes
2 T butter, melted
2 T olive oil

Optional extras: minced fresh herbs, spices, grated cheese, bread crumbs, panko crumbs

Special equipment:
Chef's knife
Large serving spoon (optional)
Baking dish, oven-safe skillet, or baking sheet
1 Bottle of Farmstead Cabernet Sauvignon for drinking (optional)


Preheat the oven to 425°F with the rack in the lower-middle position.

Scrub the potatoes clean and pat them dry. Alternatively, you can peel off the skins.

Cut 1/4” to 1/8” slices into each potato, stopping about 1/2” from the bottom, so the slices stay connected at the bottom of the potato. Tip: you can place chop sticks on either side of the potato to keep from cutting through each one.

Combine the melted butter and olive oil in a small bowl. Arrange the potatoes in a baking dish and brush all over with half the mixture, including the bottoms. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.

Bake the potatoes for 30 minutes. At this point, the layers will start separating. Remove the pan from the oven and brush the potatoes again—you can nudge the layers apart if they're still sticking together. Make sure some of the fat drips down into the space between the slices.

Bake for another 30 to 40 minutes, until the potatoes are crispy on the edges and easily pierced in the middles with a paring knife. If you're adding any extras (herbs, cheese, etc), stuff between the slices and sprinkle over the top 5 to 10 minutes before the end of cooking. Total baking time is 60 to 70 minutes for average potatoes; if your potatoes are on the small side or are larger, adjust cooking time accordingly.

Serve immediately! These potatoes are best straight from the oven, while the edges are at their crispiest.

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This entry was posted on October 01, 2016.



At Long Meadow Ranch, we believe honeybees are an integral part of a sustainable farm. Full circle farming utilizes all parts of the ranch to maintain the health of the whole. The crops at our Rutherford Estate are pollinated by the honeybees we have on property, plus we get to enjoy the honey these amazing creatures make.

We have 10 colonies at our Rutherford Estate, each with three kinds of honeybees:
a queen, workers and drones.

Let’s start with the queen, as she is the largest and most important bee in the hive--she produces all of the progeny. There is only one queen per colony and her only job is to lay eggs. She can lay up to 2,000 eggs per day during peak season!

Image source

Next up, we have the worker bees. They are infertile female bees that make up the majority of the colony’s population and keep the hive going. Worker bee jobs change depending on where they are in their lifespan. Jobs include cleaning the hive, taking care of the larvae (nurse bee) protecting and feeding the queen, collecting nectar and pollen, making honey and wax, and gaurding the hive.
The bees we see flying around are most likely worker bees.

Image source

And finally, we have the drones. All male, drones are the bees that come from unfertilized eggs. There are at least 100 drones per hive and they are kicked out by worker bees in the fall. They have larger eyes than the queen and worker bees, their bodies are larger and broader and they live longer than workers, and they are the only honeybees that do not have a stinger. Drones carry all of the genetic material for the hive. Their job is to build morale before they leave the hive and mate with virgin queen bees.


Image source

Beekeepers (ours is the uber talented Rob Keller) use smoke on their hands and arms to calm the bees when entering a hive. The smoke masks alarm pheromones released by guard (worker) bees, creating an opportunity for the beekeeper to open the hive and work relatively safely.

Our apiaries have 8 frames and two follower boards in each box, allowing the bees to move the air around inside the hive.

There are more than 2,500 native pollinaters in California, but only the honeybee genus (apis) produces wax. Worker bees produce wax from four sets of glands in their lower abdomen. The wax scales are passed from the abdomen forward to the front legs, then into the bee’s mouth. The bee then uses its powerful mandibles to masticate the wax for building the comb. The hexagonal shape of the comb is vital to the success of the hive, as it is used for rearing the brood and storing pollen and honey. The size of the cells determine the sex of the egg the queen lays inside the cell (drone or worker). It takes approximately 1 pound of honey to create 1 ounce of wax!

The forager worker bees fly around a 4-mile radius to collect sugary nectar (50% water) from flower blossoms to bring back to the hive. When their honey stomachs (they have a food stomach, as well) are full, they return to the hive to share the nectar with the other worker bees. They pass the nectar from bee to bee. The heat from this activity activates the enxymes that turn the nectar into honey. After it’s fully processed, the wet honey is transferred into one of the cells, which acts like a jar. To dry the honey, the worker bees fan it with their wings, until it becomes the sticky honey we know and love (18% water). At this point, the bees cap the cell with wax to keep it clean.

Each time Rob visits our hives, he not only checks the frames, but he is looking for any signs of unusual activity or disease, as well as the various pollens the workers have collected. He does this by reading the monitoring tray that sits below a screen under each hive. Particles fall onto the monitoring trays, often mirroring the lines of the frames. These particles tell the story of the hive.

Rob takes meticulous notes each visit and smears a little bit of the various pollens he collects, so we can track the differences through the seasons. Someday, we (the collective we) hope to be able to see where bees are actually foraging by studying the pollen they bring back to the hive.

Now for the part we all patiently await--the honey! Once 80+% of the comb has been capped, we can pull the frame and process the honey. We often keep the beautiful frames for events at our restaurant at Farmstead, but we extract most of the honey from the comb to produce the sticky, sweet, delectable stuff you can find at our farmer's market and general store.

Rob uses a small basket press lined with a mesh cloth bag to extract the honey from the comb.

He breaks up the comb and puts it into the mesh bag inside the basket of the press.

Next, he spins the handle at the top of the press, pushing the metal plate down into the basket, gently compacting the comb and extracting the honey.

The honey comes out into the tray and funnels through a fine mesh sieve to make sure no particles other than honey make it into the final product.

There are a hundred and one ways to use the remarkable, sticky, golden substance (cough “medicine,” allergy symptom reducer, eliminating dandruff, and, of course, in your morning cup o’joe and with peanut butter on toast). The blend of sugar, trace enzymes, minerals, vitamins, and amino acids is unlike any other sweetener on the planet and it’s finger lickin’ good!


Name: Rob Keller

What is your role for Long Meadow Ranch (LMR)?
I manage 10 colonies of bees at the Rutherford Estate, process the honey, and educate the staff about sustainable hive management practices.

How long have you been working with LMR?
I believe I’ve been with LMR 5 to 6 years.

What has been your favorite project at LMR?
There are a lot of things that make LMR one of my favorite places to work bees. Probably, the one thing that stands out the most, is how the entire staff is behind the project. Everyone is completely engaged with wanting to know more about what’s going on and they want to be involved.

Ohh, also, another great thing about managing the bees at LMR is how the apiary is laid out. Our hive inspection routine starts in the front and works counterclockwise throughout the property, ending in the back forty. All the hives are easily accessible, which makes it really painless to harvest honey and move equipment around.

Tell us how you got into beekeeping. Was it a natural fit from the start or did you take various avenues before landing in the field?
It was both natural and through various paths. I started keeping bees while working on my MFA at UC Davis. I incorporated bees into my art practice and was working with them visually in the fine art arena. That was nearly 20 years ago, many avenues, streets, and bridges away.

Prior to getting my Masters at Davis, I worked in veterinary medicine. My mom was in the field and ran pet hospitals at military bases around the Bay Area, so that’s where the natural part fits in. Sure, I mostly worked with puppies and kittens, but there was definitely a connection to the natural world.

Today, after two decades of keeping bees, I manage over 100 colonies regeneratively throughout the Napa Valley, teach Montessori kids those practices (the next stewards of the movement), and have built a successful business around what I believe is right for the bees.

What kind of trends are you seeing in your industry?
Ohhh gosh, there are so many trends in the way people are managing their bees. In my opinion, some of the trends are in the best interest of the species and some are not. A lot of attention is being put into how to deal with a little mite, varroa destructor, and the best way to eradicate the parasite. I do my best to stay out of the way of natural selection, deal only with locally adapted stock, and refuse to hustle bees for anything other than stationary pollination or photoshoots.

What inspires you?
To be a leader in the grassroots movement of regenerative beekeeping. I’m inspired by seeing all the hard work of selective breeding starting to pay off. I’m incredibly moved watching all the people around me invested in the bees and jumping on board of putting them first.

Best vacation you have ever taken?
I’ve had so many great vacations. By the time I finally get out, time off is so far overdue. A simple day trip to the coast can be the best ever! I also love Paia Maui, the wild Atlantic Coast of Ireland, Big Sky Montana, and, of course, Paris is a blast. I’ve met amazing beekeepers in all those places.

Red or white wine?
Ahhh, beer….Anchor Steam, Russian River, 21st Amendment, Rouge, and Ballast Point. I’m always up for having my growler filled at a local brewery. I tend to be less of a hop hound, leaning towards the lighter hefeweizen style. But, if you twist my arm, I prefer pinots and lighter reds.

Bike or motorcycle?
Both, I can't live without my mountain bike, we have some of the best riding here in the valley. I also just love my new Kawasaki KZ 1000p retired highway patrol bike for running up and down the valley working bees.

Sushi or pizza?
That’s tough one, I definitely prefer sushi, but I’m a third generation Italian, so how can I deny a fatty slice?

iphone or Android?
Ohh, come on, really? iPhone and Macs for sure!

Mountains or ocean?
Both, love the hills on my bike and skim boarding at the beach.



Recipe Courtesy: Kipp Ramsey
Serves 4-6


2 lbs baby carrots with tops
2 tsp olive oil
3 T butter, divided
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 shallot, finely chopped
2 T bourbon
2 T honey
1 T chicken broth or water
¼ C pistachios, toasted and chopped
¼ C goats milk feta
Maldon salt
Soft herbs such as tarragon, basil, cilantro, and chive
Bee pollen
Cocoa nibs


Place a small roasting pan in oven. Preheat oven and pan to 500°.

Cut tops from carrots, leaving 1 inch of greenery on each carrot.

Stir together olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter in preheated roasting pan. Add carrots, salt, and pepper; toss to coat. Bake 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add shallot and sauté 1 minute. Remove from heat, stir in bourbon, honey and chicken broth. Return to heat and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium and cook 5 minutes or until mixture thickens.

Drizzle mixture over carrots, toss to coat. Bake 5 to 7 more minutes or until carrots are crisp and tender. Transfer to a serving dish, top with goat feta, toasted pistachios, and soft garden herbs. Finish with Maldon salt, bee pollen, and cocoa nibs to taste.

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This entry was posted on September 01, 2016.




Long Meadow Ranch cultivates 16 acres of Picholine, Leccino, Frantoio, Manzanilla, Maurielo, and Pendolino olive trees. Our Prato Lungo olive trees were planted by the original owner of our Mayacamas Estate, EJ Church, in the late 1800s!

We started our 2015 olive harvest in October and finished in early December. This was one of LMR’s best harvests to date with close to 40 tons of fruit. We pick approximately 70% black olives and 30% green olives, because the riper olives (black) are fruity and floral, while the green olives are a bit bitter, but contain a lot of polyphenols and help stabilize the oil.

Using handheld electric vibrating rakes, we gently shake the fruit from the tree and onto mesh tarps covering the ground below. Each “block” of trees is harvested individually, so the olives can be processed by block and blended later, much like grapes are harvested for wine.

fter the olives have fallen from the trees, we discard as many leaves and sticks from the fruit as we can by hand with a leaf blower while still in the orchard.

Right after the olives are picked, we take them to the frantoio (Italian for olive mill). We are very fortunate to have a frantoio at our Mayacamas Estate, as this contributes to the high quality of our oils--the sooner the fruit is processed after it’s picked, the better the oil.


After the olives are weighed, they are poured into the first hopper.

The fruit rides the elevator belt up 10 feet in the air, then does a free fall, allowing any leaves we missed in the orchard to be separated from the olives, before landing in a moving bath of fresh water.

After the olives are clean, they are ready for the stones. The fruit climbs the olive elevator, then they are dropped in the grinding area where the large granite milling stones are in full swing, each wheel rotating in place and moving clockwise at the same time.

The giant granite wheels weigh 2 tons each and grind the olives, including the pits, for 20 to 30 minutes.

When the olives have been thoroughly mashed and are the right consistency, we open the trapdoor under the grind stones, pushing the mash into the malixer (aka double kneader), which creates the ideal environment for the oil to separate from the mash. This process takes about 45 minutes.

Next, the olive mash is pumped into a centrifuge, which spins at 5,000RPMs,
separating the oil from everything else in the mash. We reserve the slurry of solids and
vegetable water from this process for our compost.

The oil that comes out of the centrifuge is now pumped over to the liquid phase separator for a final spin to separate out any residual particulates. What we’re left with is “olio nuovo” or new oil, which is then set aside to settle. This is a natural clarification process that allows the oil to “fall clear.” In 6 to 8 weeks, the oil is racked and any sediment is collected for soap material.

We expect 35-40 gallons of oil per ton (~2000 pounds) of olives.


After the olive oil is racked, Sean McEntire, our super talented olive oil maker, the Halls, and a team of our artisans (farmers, chefs, and winemakers) taste each barrel to determine which of our finished oil blends each will call home.

Once blending is complete, our delicious oil is ready to be bottled and hit your kitchen counter!


Name: Stéphane Vivier

What is your role at Long Meadow Ranch (LMR)?
Winemaker for the LMR Anderson Valley Estate.

How long have you been with LMR?
About a year now.

What has been your favorite project at LMR?
Being able to show different expressions of the same site in the bottle. Looking at grapes from different angles and perspectives, but always trying to show focus, precision and the potential of this incredible place.

What do you wish other people knew about LMR?
Wine is just an ingredient. It is that simple and we are all here working together with the same goal of making this philosophy true at the table.

Tell us how you got into winemaking. Was it a natural fit from the start or did you take various avenues before landing in the field?
It is a long story that started with the first glass I was allowed to drink when I was 10. I grew up in Burgundy where kids are learning very young the perfumes and aromas in the cellars and kitchens, and the techniques in the vineyards. I knew I would work using my senses pretty early.

What kind of trends are you seeing in your industry?
Fewer people being patient! More people wanting more and faster.

What inspires you?
Simple concepts and elegant solutions: common sense. The most difficult thing in life is simplicity.

Best vacation you have ever taken?
First trips to Hawaii, Barolo, and Tuscany.

Red or white wine?

Bike or motorcycle?

Sushi or pizza?

iPhone or Android?
Does it matter!?

Mountains or ocean?



Serves 4

4 slices of sourdough bread, toasted
2 peaches, thinly sliced
2 T honey
2 sprigs basil


Lay sliced peaches on top of toasted bread. Sprinkle torn basil over peaches and drizzle with honey. Voilà! Breakfast of champions.

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This entry was posted on August 01, 2016.

JULY 2016


Once a year, our bulls leave their pasture at our Mayacamas Estate to visit Tomales Station. More importantly, the ladies. In order to grow our herd, the bulls spend three months with a group of mother cows and replacement heifers (remember, heifers become cows at the time of the birth of their second calf). We brought three bulls to Tomales Station, one for each pasture of mother cows or replacement heifers that we are breeding this year. We try to maintain a one bull to 30 cow/heifer ratio.

Here are a few facts about the mother cows and heifers

Highlands are not fully matured until they are three years of age, which is a little older than other breeds. However, Highlands have a longer breeding life (10-12 years), compared to other breeds. Their future breeding potential is increased, because of their breeding life.

The average gestation period for Highland cattle is nine months. Since we want our calves to be born in the spring when grass is at it’s peak, we take this timeframe into consideration when determining when to breed our herd.

As part of our ongoing pasture rotation plan, our mother cows and heifers are rotated regularly and are kept separate by age and intention (breeding or for consumption).

Here are a few facts about the bulls

Genetics are very important when selecting a bull. Strong genes will help us manage the future potential of our herd. We spend a lot of time and money selecting our bulls to ensure our herd is healthy and can meet our production needs.

Highland bulls can weigh up to 1,800 pounds. In order to move them across town, a skilled cattle rancher is needed (warning: do not try this at home). We’re thankful we have an experienced and knowledgeable ranch team!

As we mentioned before, we don’t mix our groups of cows and heifers. We also need to keep our bulls separate during breeding. When they have an audience (especially one with ladies), bulls become very aggressive and will fight each other. This is another reason why we only put one bull in each pasture. The pastures have to be completely separate. If they see each other, even through a fence, they will fight (the fence never asked for that).

Back to the breeding! Cattle are smell driven animals, so you may see them smelling each other (this is also how mother cows and calves find each other in the pasture). During breeding, the bulls appear to rub noses with the cows and heifers. This is their way of batting their lashes and flirting with each other.

Just after the three month visit, we check to see how many cows and heifers are pregnant to determine how many calves we are going have in the spring.



Kipp Ramsey


Farm to Table Manager and Sous Chef


Five years in September!


Creating and maintaining relationships with our farm team and local producers and working with our chefs to use the produce that we grow.


How all the different aspects and properties work together to create and accomplish one common goal.


I was 18 at the time and was studying at Ole Miss (University of Mississippi), I needed a job for money to take girls out on dates, so I started working for Bottletree Bakery. The people I worked with were genuine and I liked working at the bakery more than aspects of college life. I just never quit.


A return to classic techniques and use of fire, curing, smoking, and fermenting. The industry is going through this old world cooking style and returning to rustic techniques.


My family, they keep me going... and all the bounty of california. It is a beautiful place to live, all the people are nice, plus the surrounding people we work with are inspiring.


My wife and I traveled to Costa Rica for our Honeymoon, and the beaches were beautiful. That is actually the last vacation I can remember. I like basically any trip we take with the family; last year we took our son to the beach for the first time. Anytime we can go camping or go out is really a vacation for me.


Rosé all day!











Yield: 2 Quarts
Recipe Courtesy: Tim Mosblech, LMR Estate Chef

5lbs Anna apples, peeled, cored and roughly chopped
2lbs sugar
3 cinnamon sticks
5 pieces star anise
1T salt
1C lemon juice

In a heavy bottom, medium pot over low heat, add apples, sugar, lemon juice, salt and spices. Slowly cook until the mixture starts to starts to stick to the bottom of the pot. This is a slow and low process and will take hours. Timing will vary depending on the type of vessel used. Remove whole spices and pass through a food mill. Serve with cheese and cracker or on toast.

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This entry was posted on July 01, 2016.

JUNE 2016


In order for sheep to be healthy, they need to be sheared at least once a year. We shear our ewes twice annually (our lambs are not sheared). Since sheep cannot shed like other animals, excess wool can impede their ability to regulate body temperature and affect their hygiene, causing infections and endangering their health. Too much wool can also affect their ability to move quickly and avoid predators (we have coyotes in Tomales). Don’t worry, shearing doesn’t hurt sheep, it's like getting a haircut.

First, we separate the ewes (mothers) from the lambs (babies).

Next, the ewes move through the corral and up into the mobile shearing unit (we made this name up, we’re in the wine business - mobile bottling unit). Where the ewes wait their turn “patiently” for a haircut.

There are sliding wooden doors inside the trailer separating the ewes from the shearers. When the shearer is ready, they slide their door down and bring the next ewe inside the trailer. Let the shearing begin!

Once the ewes are naked, they exit through the open doorway back into the pasture to get acclimated.

Now, rewind and let’s look at where the fleece goes once it is removed from the ewes. Do you remember the little doorway underneath where the ewes were waiting their turn? The shearers slide the fleece towards the opening and the fleece is collected on the other side.

Sheep produce lanolin, also known as wool wax, to repel water off their coats. Lanolin is produced by the sebaceous glands of wool-bearing animals (sheep!). Greasy to the touch, the fleece has to be cleaned and the lanolin removed in order for us to use the wool.

The unprocessed fleece is put into the Dominator. This machine (costs as much as some cars) came from New Zealand and is used to press the wool into a bale. This used to be done manually by jumping into the bales to press down the wool (short workers took their turn last to ensure they could get out)!

Once the bale of unprocessed wool is full, it is sealed with giant hooks and removed from the Dominator.
A full bale can weigh up to 450 pounds. These bales now get shipped off for processing.

Reunited and it feels so good! Back to the sheep...the lambs are now released into the pasture with the ewes. Did you know that lambs and ewes can recognize each other’s calls? Pretty cool, huh?

(sheep really can jump)

Now we move the sheared ewes and lambs to another pasture to make room for the next round.
Our sheep are kept in separate pastures, so we can keep track of their ages.

Two fast facts this month:

Meet Gordon, the Kiwi that has sheard over 2.5 million sheep!
He travels all over the world and is a third generation shearer.

Shearers wear special moccasins that grip the floor, so they have
good traction for shearing (ewes can weigh over 200 pounds).



Nic Jones


Banquet Sous Chef & Charcutier


I started with LMR on October 5, 2012


My favorite project is the continuous project of our charcuterie program, it does not stop or take a break. I watch over our salumi as if they were my own children, I create them, care for them, and mold them into what I want them to be as they grow old and age.


I have the pleasure of working with an incredible staff. Mark Faulkner and Brian Albright are the backbone of the banquet and charcuterie kitchen, big shout out to these guys!


I believe it started as a toddler before I could even speak, my Italian mother and grandmother would give me sausage while they were cooking up tomato sauce or Italian sausage sandwiches; the story goes my first words were “Italian sausage” and here I am today making sausage for a career. I had my first kitchen job when I was 16 doing dishes on Catalina Island and I have been cooking since.


I see more and more restaurants every day moving back to the true artisan ways of doing it yourself by hand, using the highest quality ingredients and believing in the work they do. The trend of farm to table and nose to tail is becoming the normal and responsible way of the restaurant industry, as it should be.


I am inspired by all the hard working microorganisms responsible for all the delicious fermented foods we all love and enjoy such as salumi, cheese, yogurt, pickles, bread, hot sauce, funky sauces and of course alcohol.


The best vacation I ever had was 21 years ago to the Napa Valley on my honeymoon. I was a young inspired chef of a little Italian restaurant at the time in Central California. The Napa Valley was so exciting for me, I was in love with the food, wine, vineyards and of course my beautiful wife. I knew at the time one day the Napa Valley would play a role in my career.


Is it hot or cold outside, am I eating, what am I eating, am I eating with company, if so are we celebrating or is it casual? These are all good examples of what may change my ideal glass of wine at the given time, but when in doubt I will take a glass of bubbles!


Bike, the one thing my mom has ever asked of me is no motorcycles, so I respect that. Although I stop to look at motorcycles more than I do bikes.


Pizza, even sushi can't top pizza!


iPhone, duh!


Both, you gotta love California!



Serves 4
Recipe Courtesy: Tim Mosblech, LMR Estate Chef

10 oz. heavy cream
½ c granulated sugar
3 T Campari
4 T freshly squeezed orange juice
3 ea. gelatin sheets (or 1 T powdered gelatin)
1 ea. vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
plum compote (see recipe below)

Special equipment: 4 4oz ramekins, molds or small tumblers.

Heat cream and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves, then bring to a boil. Remove from heat, add Campari, orange juice and the vanilla bean seeds. Squeeze excess water from gelatin and add to cream, stirring until dissolved. Pour into four, 4 oz. capacity molds or small tumblers. Refrigerate for 3-4 hours or until set. Top with a generous tablespoon of plum compote before serving and enjoy!

Plum Compote

1 lb. red plums
¾ c sugar
1 cinnamon stick
3 whole star anise

Roughly chop the plums, retaining the pits – they can be added, as they will be removed after cooking. Combine plums, sugar, cinnamon stick and star anise in a saucepan. Stir over low heat until plums are very tender and compote thickens. Remove from the heat and allow to cool completely. Transfer compote to a bowl, discarding pits, cinnamon stick and star anise.

Can be kept refrigerated for 6 months. Try it on ice cream, yogurt, or toast.

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This entry was posted on June 01, 2016.

MAY 2016


At the beginning of May, we hit the fields at Tomales Station to plant Red La Soda and Yukon Gold potatoes. This land was first homesteaded by Irish settlers specifically for potatoes, because of the constant fog and moist ground. Taking notes from those before us, we plant our potatoes in the same location. We don't irrigate these potatoes, because they receive enough moisture from the ground.

We planted 57 rows x 750 feet each = 8 miles of potatoes! We’re hoping that every seed potato produces about a pound of mature potatoes.

First, we till the soil (enter tractor 1).

Then we dig a furrow around 8-12 inches deep (enter tractor number 2).


Next, we drop the seed potatoes into each row, approximately 12 inches apart. The seed potatoes weigh around 2-3 ounces each and have several eyes.

And finally, the last step is to cover the seed potatoes with 4 inches of dirt.

Although potatoes grow underground, they have shallow roots and once the greens reach 4-6 inches above ground, we will recover the crop with 4-6 inches of soil to allow the potatoes to continue to grow. Once the greens flower, it’s time to harvest!

We typically plant French Fingerlings and Red La Sodas around March 1st and we begin harvest around June 1st. Early season potatoes or 'slip-skins' are harvested beginning after the plants flower and are consumed shortly thereafter. Yukon Gold potatoes are planted closer to May 1st and are harvested in the middle or end of September. Storage potatoes, such as Yukon Gold, stay in the ground until the potato plant has died, this makes the skins tougher and they can be stored for up to 6 months.

Fast Fact - In the farming/gardening world, a potato or bulb is called a tuber.



Christopher "Landy" Landercasper


I am the farm production manager for LMR. I think I also have the title of chief organic officer and agricultural safety director. Although, I think these are more informal titles.


I am in my third year at LMR. I joined in October of 2013.


Developing and implementing a long term vision for our farming operations, including the chicken house to help supply nitrogen, greenhouses to help grow all of the transplants we need for our expanded farming footprint, and perennial plants that will allow us expand our offerings going forward.


How far out we are trying to plan. Through the development of orchards and perennial gardens, we are planning for the next few decades. We try to have our annual plantings scheduled out at least a year in advance, while still leaving some flexibility in our design plans.


I grew up on an organic cattle and row crop farm in Minnesota. I took a few detours--boarding school in Rhode Island and a liberal arts education at Colorado College--but I would always come home during breaks and summers to help run the family farm. I moved to California in 2009 and I jumped at the first farming opportunity that presented itself. Seven years later and I am still trying to figure out how to make organic farming work better.


Organic food production is continuing to grow, but is still outpaced by the growth of consumer demand. If we are ever going to meet the demands of consumers, we are going to need to drastically expand our national organic output. I do think organic, local and heirloom food production will expand rapidly over the coming years and with that expansion, small farms will be able to drive down the costs of production through economies of scale, making the price difference between organic and non-organic decrease. American organic production has been climbing rapidly over the last decade, and I expect this to only accelerate.


Seasoned farmers. The people who taught me about farming and organic methods were generally not
ag-students or professors, but more often they were my family, neighbors, and friends. They shared a wealth of information and experience with an uncommon openness. If someone knows a trick to making your peppers better, they generally will tell you before you even ask. One of the great things about LMR is the organic history that exists in the family. Ted and Laddie have decades of experience and Chris grew up gardening and farming. They have spent countless hours farming and the knowledge I have gained from my conversations with them has given me a huge leg up.


Meh, I live in Napa Valley. Coming home from vacation is sometimes as wonderful as where I have been. As a farmer, I am more of a stay in place sort of person. Once you have good dirt under you and a nice community around you, the rest seems extraneous. I also love to return home to my family farm in Minnesota. I spend most of my free time building my own organic farm in Vacaville, CA.


Why limit yourself? I like green and yellow and purple too! But I am talking about tomatoes. Specifically, Japanese Black Trefele, Green Zebras, and Valencias. If I must answer on wine: red- Cab Franc, specifically. Although, the LMR Rosé is the best white-ish wine I have had in a long time. And, the Chappellet Chenin Blanc is the only white I have ever really enjoyed.


Boat over either bicycle or motorcycle. I don't ride either a bike or a motorcycle. I like my melon in one piece.


Pizza. Sushi is not exactly your first choice when you grow up more than 1,000 miles from an ocean.


Android, ‘nuff said.


Ocean, if it’s warm. I love to spend time in south Florida. Mountains when it’s cold. Skiing in Colorado is a favorite past time. I’m just getting to know the California mountains now and they are pretty nice too. I don't really hike that much. If I have energy to do something, I usually try to use it to grow something.



Yield: 8 (8oz.) jars
Recipe Courtesy: Tim Mosblech, LMR Estate Chef

5 c strawberries, cleaned, hulled and roughly chopped
5 T fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 package (49 grams) fruit pectin
6 c raw sugar
2 T fresh tarragon, chopped

Special equipment: 8 (8oz.) mason jars

In a medium stainless steel pot, add strawberries, lemon juice and pectin and bring to a hard boil. Remove from the heat and add all of the sugar at once.

Return the mixture to a rolling boil. Once boiling, skim off any foam that develops on the surface.

Remove from the heat and add the chopped tarragon. Add the mixture to mason jars and refrigerate.

Serve with your favorite cheese, stirred into oatmeal, or over ice cream.

Preserves will keep refrigerated for 6+ months.

Tags: No tags were found.

This entry was posted on May 01, 2016.

APRIL 2016



Sal Godinez


Mayacamas Estate Winemaker


37 months


Cabernet Sauvignon winemaking


That LMR also produces varietal grappa and olive oil


I was born in the small mountain town of Zamora outside of Michoacan, Mexico. When I was a teenager, I came to California to help my brother pick crops. We did contract work by the piece, picking lettuce, broccoli, and many kinds of crops. With all the nursery fields, it was breathtakingly beautiful. I returned to Mexico to finish high school and came back to California and ended up in Rutherford. My brother-in-law worked in the vineyard at Freemark Abbey, which gave me the connection that led to my first winery job.


In the 31 years of my career in Napa Valley, the winemaking industry has been pressurized by vendors and researchers with innovative winemaking methods, tools and products that are supposed to make better wine for the public. Although, some tools and products are beneficial for winemaking, I totally disagree in using synthetic products as wine additives. Winemaking is a natural process. We the winemakers have the responsibility to produce and deliver a sustainable food product to our patrons.


Organic winemaking


Europe with my family











Tags: winemaking

This entry was posted on April 01, 2016.

March 2016

From the Ranch | At the Table

Originating in Scotland, Highland Cattle have long, shaggy hair and horns to withstand harsh elements year-round and March marks the beginning of their calving season. Our cows, heifers and calves live in Tomales at our 650 acre Tomales Station ranch.

There are Marin Agricultural Land Trust (MALT) easements on a large portion of Tomales Station. We partnered with Point Blue Conservation Science’s Students & Teachers Restoring A Watershed program (STRAW), Marin Resource Conservation District (MRCD), MALT and Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) to implement a Riparian Revegetation Plan at Tomales Station, the last ranch before Tomales Bay. The purpose of this plan is to minimize and control erosion to improve water quality (this water feeds directly into Tomales Bay), riparian vegetation and connect existing riparian corridors. In addition, this work helps to optimize pasture productivity and quality in order to contribute to the ecological and economic sustainability of the ranch (AKA give our cows, heifers and calves beautiful green grass to munch on, while maintaining plant and water quality).

If you didn’t know there was a difference between a cow and a heifer, there is! Cows have already had a calf; a heifer is a cow that hasn’t had a calf yet. Highland cattle have a long reproductive life, 10-12 years, compared to other breeds (approximately 8 years for Angus). Cows have been known to give birth to twins, however, it isn’t ideal because they cannot produce enough milk to feed multiple calves.

Calves are slowly weened from their mother’s milk (a gradual process in which grass is introduced into their diet over 8 to 10 months). They are completely separated from their mothers when they are healthy enough to survive without any milk. This also gives the cows time to recover before their next pregnancy. Once all of the calves are completely weened, they are all moved together, because animals do better in herds of similar size and age.

At the Table

Fava Bean Fries

Ask your farmer friends at your local farmer’s market for young fava beans.
You want them before they get too big.

1 lb fresh young fava beans, tips snipped off and rinsed

For the batter:
1 C beer
2 Tbl vodka
1 C cake flour
1½ tsp kosher salt
¾ tsp baking soda
oil for frying
salt, optional (to season the fried fava beans)

Rinse and snip the ends of the fava beans.
Line a cooling rack with paper towels.
Prepare the batter by adding the beer, vodka, flour, baking soda and salt to a medium bowl. Stir to combine.
Heat about 2 inches of oil in a deep pot (preferably cast iron) to 360-370 degrees.
Dip the fava beans one at a time in prepared batter and gently place into hot oil. Do not crowd the favas while frying (too many favas = cold oil). Fry until golden brown (about 2 minutes).
Using a spider, remove favas from oil and place on prepared cooling rack. If desired, sprinkle with salt.
Repeat with remaining favas.
To keep the fava beans warm, place them in the oven on the warm setting (approx 200 degrees).
Serve with your favorite dipping sauce. We like sauce gribeche or a lemony mayonnaise.

Tags: recipe highland cattle fava bean

This entry was posted on March 05, 2016.

February 2016

From the Vineyard | At the Table

Vineyard pruning is the practice of removing last year’s growth from the vines. We manipulate the vine to give us the fruit quality, quantity, and light environment we want for the growing season. Pruning is the most important vineyard operation all year, because it casts the die for the season’s upcoming crop. We prune to create balance between vine vigor and fruit load. Pruning takes place annually when our vines are “sleeping” (aka the dormant season) and before bud break to promote growth and prevent disease. This timing is important, because all the nutrients have moved to the root from the leaves.

Pruning methods vary based on trellising. We trellis our vines in two different ways: open lyre and bilateral cordon. Therefore, they’re pruned differently too: cane and spur pruning.

Guyot Style Cane Pruning

To get started, scope out all of the shoot growth from last year and choose the four best canes to be laid down as the new fruiting canes. We’re looking for healthy canes that will promote ideal fruit orientation with open clusters, even light (sun and shade) and airflow. Remember, all vines are unique.

Next, remove last year’s fruiting canes with all of the unchosen canes attached.

Cut the length of the new fruiting cane. Typically, this is 8 to 10 buds in length. In a perfect world, each bud will have one shoot with two clusters.

Carefully massage the chosen cane (you’ll hear a little crackle), wrap once around the fruiting wire (bottom wire), and tie down the end.

Move on to the next vine!


Bilateral Spur Pruning

Look at the prior year’s shoot growth and choose the best oriented canes with the ideal wood diameter (a little bigger than a #2 pencil) and the healthiest looking buds on each spur.

The first bud on each cane is called the basal bud and it has the least amount of fruit. Count 2 clear buds (can fit your pruning shears underneath) above this and cut the cane. Ideally, the remaining clear buds are pointing upright and not crowding each other.

Repeat with every spur on the vine, then move on to the next vine!

At the Table

"Babe, you can't be beet" Salad

Serves 2

4 small red baby beets, skin on
1 C cider vinegar
2 bay leaves
4 garlic cloves, smashed
2 T salt
fresh ground pepper
1 T olive oil
¾ C crema (see recipe below)
¾ C chimichurri (see recipe below)
1 handful seasonal greens
juice from half of a lemon

¼ C goat cheese
2 T half & half

1 T cilantro, chopped
1/2 C flat leaf parsley, chopped
1 T garlic, chopped
2 T fresh lemon juice
1 tsp salt
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 C extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp chili flakes
1 tsp LMR red wine vinegar or your favorite red wine vinegar

Scrub the beets well under cold water. 

In a medium pot, cover the beets in water, add cider vinegar, bay leaves, garlic & salt and boil until tender and a fork is easily inserted (about 45 min). Carefully strain the beets, then refrigerate to cool.

Meanwhile, whisk the goat cheese and half & half until consistency is smooth. Set aside.

To make chimichurri, mix all ingredients together in a medium bowl and let sit. For best results, marinate in the refrigerator overnight.

Place beets between 2 sheets of plastic wrap and gently flatten beets to ½” thick with the palm of your hand or the bottom of a mug.

Coat the bottom of a cast iron pan with olive oil and heat over high heat. Season beets with salt and pepper. Sear for 2 minutes or until charred, turn over and repeat. Remove from heat and set aside.

Toss the greens in fresh lemon juice and olive oil.

To plate, place the crema on the dish, add the beets and drizzle with chimichurri. Garnish with seasonal greens (arugula, beet greens, kale…whatever you like).

Tags: vineyards pruning beets salad recipe

This entry was posted on February 05, 2016.

January 2016

From the Vineyard | At the Table

We've been busy since harvest!

At the end of 2015 harvest, we removed an old Sauvignon Blanc block from our Rutherford Estate (the photo below is from the 2015 Sauvignon Blanc harvest).

The first step in removing a vineyard is to pull out the posts (we donated ours to ranchers affected by the fire in Lake County to make necessary repairs from fire damage), remove the drip irrigation, any overhead sprinklers and the catch wires (we rolled these up by hand and recycled them).
And then it’s time for the big, bad bulldozers!

Following the vineyard rows, this bulldozer, fitted with a vine pulling tooth, digs 36" underground to remove as many of the roots as possible, while pushing the vines to the left making a neat and tidy pile. After each pass with the bulldozer, our crew then also takes a pass through the block to pick up any roots the bulldozer missed by hand.

Next is the bulldozer with the brush rake. The teeth at the bottom of the rake reach 4-6” under the soil to tease the remaining roots to the top, while pushing the pile of vines out of the block.

Now it’s time for the amendment cocktail! Ours is made of gypsum, limestone and compost (all organic). The amendments are evenly incorporated into the soil with a tractor (shh, don't tell him he's not a bulldozer).

In the next step, we get back to old-school farming and bring out the slip plow. This behemoth is 5’ tall and 12’ long and is attached to the back of a bulldozer. This technology was used back in the 1950’s and is making a comeback. The slip plow rolls the soil by digging 5' under ground, bringing it to the top.

Up next is the 18’ disc. The discs reach 12” into the soil, mixing the new top layer to prepare for new vines.

Finally, the box scraper (a glorified rake) takes a couple passes through the block to level the ground.

After all this hard work, the soil is now 18” higher! Or, as our Agricultural Operations Manager puts it, “We’re breathing the love back into the land.”

At the Table

Kale Salad

1/3 cup parmesan, finely grated
1 bunch Lacinato Kale, de-stemmed and julienned
1 clove garlic, minced
pinch Chili Pequin
1/2 T Creole mustard (or mustard of your choice)
1/3 C olive oil
1/2 lemon


Preheat oven to 375.

On a silpat or parchment lined baking sheet, spread the parmesan in a thin layer. Bake for 13 minutes. Set aside and let cool.

Remove the hard core and stem from the kale and julienne.

In a small bowl, whisk the olive oil, lemon juice, mustard, garlic, Chili Pequin and salt.

Drizzle the dressing around the edges of an empty bowl. Add the kale and toss.

Garnish with pieces of cooled parmesan crisp and enjoy!

Tags: kale salad vineyards

This entry was posted on January 01, 2016.