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!
ARTISAN OF THE MONTH
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!
AT THE TABLE
Celebrate spring with a cool glass of our Rosé of Pinot Noir and this peppery salad.
SALAD OF SPRING LETTUCES, PEA SHOOTS AND EDIBLE FLOWERS
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.
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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