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From The Vine

Late Fall 2018

Harvest 2018 Wrap Up

Cabernet Sauvignon grapes - Rutherford Estat

Around mid-summer we saw the first sign that harvest season was near: veraison! Veraison is when the red grape varietals start to change color from green to purple. We started seeing veraison in our vineyards towards the end of July. 

Veraison of Pinot Noir grapes - Anderson Valley Estate


Night harvest of Sauvignon Blanc in early September - Rutherford Estate

Harvest began at our Rutherford Estate with a late night pick of Sauvignon Blanc on August 26th. We pick Sauvignon Blanc at night because the cooler temperatures keep the grapes firmer and more stable, which is optimal for processing and fermentation. Our Sauvignon Blanc vineyards were picked over period of about one month. 
Our team was on the move with a lot of ground to cover as our Anderson Valley Estate harvest of Chardonnay started on September 6th.  

Anderson Valley Estate Winemaker, Stephane Vivier checks the quality of the Chardonnay grapes in the harvest bin after they have been picked .  

Stephane does a daily tank walk to quality check each tank of Rosé of Pinot Noir as it ferments.

Next up: all of our Napa Valley reds! 

Early morning Merlot harvest - Rutherford Estate

Peter’s Vineyard Sangiovese with leaves removed for an easy pick of the fruit zone.

In early October, it was time to harvest our Merlot and Sangiovese. We have Merlot planted at both our estates, and the Sangiovese is all in Peter's Vineyard, located on our Mayacamas Estate, at 1000ft.
Prior to harvesting the grapes, our crew goes through the vineyard and removes all leaves in the fruit zone. They do this so that no leaves mix with the fruit in the large bins, allowing for a cleaner pick of the fruit.
Cabernet Sauvignon is always last to be harvested, as this grape varietal takes the longest to ripen. We harvested our Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards up until the 1st of November, with the Cabernet Sauvignon at our Rutherford Estate being the final pick. 

Arturo, crew lead, keeping bins clear of leaves during a morning pick of Cabernet Sauvignon - Mayacamas Estate  

Cabernet Sauvignon, Mayacamas Estate

Cellar Master, Isaac loading grapes into the crusher/destemmer. 

Crushpad - Mayacamas Estate Winery

Winemaker, Justin Carr, and intern, Ben Buckingham, on the crushpad, crushing Sangiovese, harvested from the Mayacamas Estate vineyard. Grape clusters are loaded into the crusher destemmer, to separate the grapes from their stems. 


Post destemming, the berries and juice are headed into fermentation bins. 

Small batch fermentation begins. 

November 1st, the last day of harvest.


Our 2018 Harvest Crew

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Experiences

Early Fall 2018

Experience Long Meadow Ranch

Before your next visit to Long Meadow Ranch in Napa Valley, be sure to catch up here on our diverse food and wine experiences that showcase our full circle approach to farming.

Mayacamas Estate Experience 

Experience the responsibly farmed and family-owned vineyards that allow us to bring extraordinary flavor and integrity to your table with a visit to our Mayacamas Estate.

This experience starts at the Logan-Ives House at Farmstead, where guests are then whisked away to our winery estate nestled in the Mayacamas Mountains. Guests explore our exquisite mountain vineyards and wine caves where they will have the opportunity to consider our limited-production collection of estate-grown wines. This unique experience includes house-cured charcuterie, cheese, and olives and a tasting of our Prato Lungo Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil. 


Our Mayacamas Experience is available daily at 10:00am, 1:00pm, and 3:30pm. Book your experience here.

Chef’s Food & Wine Tasting

The chef's food & wine tasting is an elegant experience hosted at the historic Logan Ives House at Farmstead at Long Meadow Ranch. Our culinary team has developed a one of a kind wine pairing experience, featuring an assortment of canapés perfectly paired with our award-winning Long Meadow Ranch wines.

The Chef's Food & Wine Tasting is available every day, 11 AM - 4PM. We recommend advance reservations

Wine & Whiskey Tasting at the General Store

Cozy up to the tasting bar for a flight of our Long Meadow Ranch wines, sip on a glass of small-batch whiskey, or sample our olive oil. The general store has been curated to embody the Long Meadow Ranch experience at home. Our collection of wines, olive oils, and seasonal provisions are made by our artisans. In addition, we have a small selection of provisions and goods crafted by friends from Napa Valley and beyond who support local and sustainable practices.

We welcome advance tasting reservation and walk-ins at our General Store

Chef’s Table 

The chef’s table at Long Meadow Ranch is an elegant, communal dining experience hosted by our Estate Chef at the historic Logan Ives House. This experience begins with a glass of our wine and a guided stroll through the culinary garden for a sneak peek at what is in season and a few of the ingredients you will see on your plate. Guests are then seated at our shared dining room table, where you’ll enjoy a chef-curated set menu. Your host and the estate chef will guide you through each thoughtfully prepared course, prepared using seasonal vegetables from our farm and are perfectly paired with Long Meadow Ranch wines. 



Book your Chef's Table dinner experience  here

Café

If you are looking for something more casual, or just want to stop by for a bite and a glass of wine, our outdoor café offers a selection of house-made pastries, fresh juices, Stumptown coffee drinks, panini and salads, Long Meadow Ranch wines by the glass.

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From the Farm

Late Summer 2018

Rutherford Estate

Once a riverbed, our benchland Rutherford Estate is an organic, sustainable, integrated farming system that relies on each part of the ranch to contribute to the health of the whole. The estate has 74 acres of certified organic vineyards planted to Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot. It is also home to our fruits, vegetables, beehives, and a growing flock of egg-laying poultry. Our diverse ranch defies the monoculture that reigns supreme in Napa Valley. Our chefs collaborate with our agricultural team to carefully select varieties that will thrive and provide the best selection for our restaurant and farmer’s market throughout the year.

The farm is bountiful right now. We are currently harvesting summer crops, including shishito peppers, candy-stripe figs, and heirloom tomatoes, as well as sauvignon blanc grapes. The agricultural team is always finding new ways to expand our sustainable farming program, and this year we have harvested our potatoes and sweet corn with horse cultivation. We are preparing for the fall season by planting our Brassica varieties including cabbage, broccoli, kale, and collards.

We checked in with our chefs and farmers to get their thoughts on the relationship between our farm and restaurant and what motivates them.

“There is a synergy between the farm and the restaurant. What comes from our farm, dictates what’s on our menu, so we grow purposefully. We create a year-long planting plan to provide for our fruit and vegetable needs for the entire year. We sit down and look through the seed catalogs and decide what varieties we want to grow and if we want to try new crops.

It’s more interesting to grow something that has a story behind it. We use a lot of heirloom varieties, which survived through seed programs, farmers markets or were passed on family to family. Tomatoes are a great example of this, with all the heirloom varieties seen today. Getting ahold of some of these seeds, it’s almost like lore, which makes it fun. Heirloom vegetables are not about everything being the same size and consistency, it’s all about flavor.”

- Stephen Barber, Executive Chef

“The feedback we get from our chefs is constantly improving what we do on the farm, and that is what allows us to continuously deliver a high quality product.

Planning is essential to what we do, nothing is random or accidental. We have a plan for our restaurant, farmers market, and Chef’s Table. Our goal is to provide the highest quality produce. For the restaurant that means, we pick in the morning and have it on your plate for lunch.” 

- Joseph Hardin, Director of Agricultural Operations

"The farm is what defines the restaurant, and is the heart and soul of Long Meadow Ranch. Our farm influences the decisions we make in the kitchen because we focus on expressing the present moment, which means whatever is in season is what goes on the menu. Being able to choose what we grow and when to harvest it, gives us a huge advantage. Without the farm, we’re just another restaurant."

- Kipp Ramsey, Farm to Table Manager

“When I joined Long Meadow Ranch last year, I was excited about the farm and having the ability to take advantage of our terroir and seasonality in the Napa Valley. As the pastry chef, I am fortunate to be able to use only our produce. The summer is a really beautiful time because I have so much to work with from berries to peaches to plums. People ask, ‘When will you make a banana cream pie?’ When you bring me a banana that is grown in California, then I will make it.” 

- Lindsay Swetsky, Pastry Chef

“The culinary garden is the main source of our creativity for the Chef’s table. We look at what produce is at its peak and base the whole menu around that, highlighting different vegetables on each course. The menu changes almost every day depending on what’s going on in the garden. We treat all produce and livestock that we produce with respect and want to elevate each ingredient as much as possible.”

- Aaron Marthaler, Estate Chef  

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On The Farm

Late Spring 2018

Calving Season 2018

The Highland breed has lived for centuries in the rugged, remote highlands of Scotland, where extremely harsh conditions led to natural selection. Only the fittest, most adaptable animals survived. We’re proud owners of one of the largest herds of this fine animal in California. Several hundred strong, these pasture-raised cattle are at home on our more than 800-acre Tomales Station (owned and leased). Our Highlands are grass-fed and grass-finished and are raised employing a protocol that is entirely hormone- and antibiotic-free. We have acquired some of the oldest bloodlines in the country, which represent the very best attributes of this classic breed. We rotate our fold to fresh pasture seasonally, allowing them to gain weight healthily while maintaining the grassland ecosystem. These are all factors that contribute to beef that has outstanding flavor and palatability.

A chat with Joseph Hardin, Long Meadow Ranch Director of Agricultural Operations

Why do we breed Highland cattle?

There are many advantages but, mainly, this breed was developed for performance on the traditional grasses from the northern British Isles as well as to produce tasty, highly palatable beef. As exclusively grass-fed and grass-finished cattle, we produce beef with lower levels of fat (i.e., higher protein per serving), higher beta carotene, omega-3, and higher iron content compared to cattle finished on grain. Importantly, beef from Highland cattle is genetically more tender than conventional beef. The muscle contains less connective tissue and the fibers are longer and larger, which are more readily separated during cooking, making the beef even more tender than other breeds raised on grass.Additionally Highlands have a longer productive life than most cattle breeds, typically 3-4 more years for a mother cow. Highland mothers have really strong maternal instincts, resulting in a very high percentage of healthy calves. Lastly, the cattle are aggressive browsers, meaning that they will happily graze just about any grass varietal, and even woody brush.

How long is the gestation period for a cow?

283 days

How many calves will a cow produce in a lifetime?

12. We have had a few cows that have produced as many as 16 calves.

How long will cows feed their calves before they are weaned?

Around 7-8 months. Our minimum standard is 200 days.

Are there any methods LMR uses when growing the herd that differs from traditional cattle practice?

One point of distinction is that we operate a full circle cattle operation. We raise animals from birth through harvest. Typical cattle companies pursue only one part of the life cycle and operation. There are three phases in the production of beef cattle. “Cow-calf” is a ranch that has a mother cow herd and raises calves to sell. Next is a “stocker” operation where cattle are raised from 8 months to 18 months (or 550 lbs to 1000 lbs). The third and final phase is “finishing.” We schedule our harvests based on peak grass conditions from each site. Usually April - June in Tomales, and year-round in Ferndale.  

How many pastures does Long Meadow Ranch have for their cattle operation?

We have cattle at three separate properties, Tomales Station in west Marin County, Ferndale in Humboldt County, and a summer lease in Carneros in Napa County. Our property at Tomales Station is mainly for our “cow-calf” and “stocker” programs, with some finishing in early spring. Our main finishing property is in Ferndale.

How does Long Meadow Ranch utilize the beef?

We serve only our grass-fed beef at the restaurant at Farmstead, and we also sell directly to consumers at our Farmers’ Market at Farmstead, as well as the St. Helena Farmers’ Market and Napa Farmers’ Market. In keeping with our sustainable farming practices, we utilize the whole animal. The restaurant won’t always have steak on the menu, but we will have other creative menu items to help utilize the whole carcass, such as our grass-fed beef tartare and our grass-fed beef chili. Of course, it’s also featured in our grass-fed beef burger. Our grass-fed beef program is evolving as we grow. In fact, our herd has roughly doubled in the last two years. With that growth, we have also expanded into grass-fed beef jerky that we sell in our General Store at Farmstead and right here on this website.

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