THE BEET

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Resolution #1

Five Resolutions You Can Keep in 2018!

Fuel Your Soul 

This classic French omelet is brightened with some

fresh garden herbs and a side of LMR house-smoked bacon.

Enjoy with a glass of rosé, a bloody mary, or a mimosa with fresh squeezed orange juice.

Recipe courtesy: Executive Chef, Stephen Barber

Serving Size: 1 omelet

CLASSIC FRENCH OMELETTE

3 free-range eggs

¼ tsp sea salt and freshly ground black pepper (or to taste)

1 Tbsp unsalted butter

1 Tbsp chopped chive, parsley, tarragon

3 pieces LMR house-smoked bacon (optional)

  1. In a bowl, whisk the eggs and season with salt and pepper
  2. Add the chopped herb mixture to the eggs
  3. Heat butter in a nonstick pan over medium heat, until just melted
  4. Add the eggs and herbs and allow them to set slightly before gently pulling the outside towards the center using a spatula, allowing the space to be filled with more runny egg
  5. Once most of the egg mixture has set, tilt the pan away from yourself and shake the pan gently, moving the omelet to the edge of the pan
  6. Carefully tilt the pan towards yourself and gently bump the handle so that the omelet folds over on itself
  7. Fold over the other half of the omelet using a spatula to create a log-shaped omelet
  8. If adding bacon, preheat the oven to 375 Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with foil (for an easier clean-up). Place bacon on top of foil and bake in the oven for 15 minutes (20 minutes if you like it crispy), then add to plate with omelet (optional)
  9. Pour yourself a glass of LMR Rosé or Pinot Noir or whip up a bloody mary with our original mix and enjoy!

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Autumn 2017

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FROM THE VINEYARD

September 2017

Harvest kicked off at our Anderson Valley Estate at the end of August and was completed by September 18th (save for the late harvest Chardonnay which will be picked in the next few weeks). Cool nights in early summer, heatwaves (especially the one over labor day weekend), and hillside vineyards all played a part in making the 2017 harvest unique. We caught up with our director of agriculture and our Anderson Valley winemaker to get a peek into how this vintage is going.

We harvest Chardonnay and Pinot Noir at night because it’s cooler and the grape quality is better when they’re cool and crisp.

Winemaking starts with farming. How do our farming practices set up up for success?
Joseph Hardin, director of agriculture (JH): Our organic, sustainable, integrated farming system relies on each part of the ranch to contribute to the health of the whole. Timing also plays a large role in harvesting the highest quality fruit. 

When the heat wave came through Anderson Valley in the middle of August, how did that affect our fruit?
Stéphane Vivier, Anderson Valley winemaker (SV): Through the heatwave, the vineyards held up very well; our fruit looked really good. We knew the pick date was going to change, we just had to watch and check often to determine by how much. The biggest impact was that we had to speed up picking from a two to three-week stretch to picking everything within ten days. That was intense!

JH: Basically, we’re dancing with mother nature and she’s always in the lead.

How will this translate to wine?

SV: From the extremely cold spring and early summer nights (temps dropping to 40 degrees) to the heat waves at the end of summer, the weather this year led us to a longer bloom time and smaller clusters and berries which resulted in a lower yield with fantastic quality of fruit. The wines will be a little more powerful this year but with the same vibrancy and freshness as prior vintages.

So once you’ve determined the fruit is ripe and ready for picking, how do you decide where to start?

JH: We pick on a lot by lot basis and keep each lot separate throughout crush and fermentation until blending takes place. We want to make sure the juice is good before we blend certain blocks together because you can’t ever un-blend.

Can you tell us a little bit about where we are in the winemaking process for a few of our Anderson Valley wines?

SV: Sure, we harvested our Chardonnay the first week of September. After spending 3-6 days in stainless steel tanks for primary fermentation, we moved it to 25% new French oak barrels for secondary fermentation where it will stay for 12-18 months. We harvested the Pinot Noir during the first week of September. It is finishing right now in tanks and heading to secondary fermentation in 25% new French oak to age for 12-18 months.
The Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir Blanc was also harvested during the first week of September. The Pinot Gris had 6 days fermentation in stainless steel tanks and is now finishing fermentation in oak (no new oak) for 7 months. The Pinot Noir Blanc had started fermentation in stainless steel and is currently aging for 7 months in 5% new oak.

What are your overall feelings about this vintage?

SV: The Pinot Noir and Chardonnay are showing great freshness compared to 2016. The Chardonnay is showing a lot of floral character and elegance. It will be accessible and balanced at an earlier age compared to the last two vintages which needed more time in the bottle. The 2017 vintage will be more old world/old school wine, which is really great. The wines are going to be mind-boggling!

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FROM THE FARM

AUGUST 2017

Napa Valley starts to get very busy in August as grape harvest sneaks up on us and is in full swing by September. But, before we tackle grape harvest, we are fortunate to experience a fruitful tomato season!

This year we planted 14 tomato varietals, both heirlooms and hybrids, and they are all finally ripening with the heat we’ve had in Napa Valley the last few weeks. 

Here’s a little plant 101, in case you need some brushing up…

Heirloom varieties are open-pollinated, unlike hybrids, and are often passed down from generation to generation. When the plants of an open-pollinated variety self-pollinate or are pollinated by another representative of the same variety, the resulting seeds will produce plants roughly identical to their parents.

Hybrids are created when plant breeders cross-pollinate two different varieties of a plant with the goal of producing a plant with the best traits from each of the parents. Cross-pollination is a natural process that can occur within members of the same plant species. Sungolds are, for example, a hybrid and prove that hybrids can have tons of flavor.

Now for a guide to what is growing on our farm and what you can find in our restaurant and farmer’s market:

PINK BRANDYWINE

The Pink Brandywine gets its name from its hometown Brandywine, PA. This heirloom is one of the most well-known. It has a potato leaf shape that can look like a heart. These tomatoes are super sweet and really meaty.

AUNT RUBY’S GERMAN GREEN

A family heirloom from Ruby Arnold of Greeneville, TN, Aunt Ruby’s German Green is slightly acidic and really sweet with a hint of spiciness.

BLACK KRIM

This heirloom tomato is originally from Krim, Russia and is also known as Black Crimea. Sweet, smoky, and a little bit salty, when the Black Krim gets a lot of heat it turns a violet-brown/purple-red (almost black) color. This year these are thriving in Napa Valley!

GERMAN JOHNSON

A predecessor of the “mortgage lifter” tomato, the heirloom German Johnson has a deep, acidic tomato flavor and a rich, creamy texture.

INDIGO ROSE

The Indigo Rose is commonly referred to as a blue tomato and was bred by Wild Boar farms in Napa for high levels of anthocyanins. These small tomatoes are high in antioxidants.

SUN GOLD

Sun golds are an exceptionally sweet, bright tangerine-orange cherry tomato. They are like candy with a tropical fruit flavor and are great right off the vine directly into your mouth.

BLACK PINEAPPLE

The heirloom Black Pineapple, also known as Ananas Noire, is sweet with low acid and a hearty smoky flavor.

GREAT WHITE

There are several white tomatoes, but we like the heirloom Great White. It is meaty with few seeds, and has a mild non-acid flavor and a creamy texture.

GOLD MEDAL

Gold Medal, an heirloom from Ohio, is an overwhelmingly sweet and meaty yellow tomato with red stripes.

PINK BERKELEY TIE DYE

The Pink Berkeley Tie Dye tomato was developed by Brad Gates of Wild Boar Farms. It’s a psychedelic dark pink tomato with green stripes and the flavor is sweet, rich and complex.

EARLY GIRL

Early Girl tomatoes are named as such because they bear fruit earlier than most other tomato varietals. These tomatoes are extremely popular in the US and are often found in backyard gardens.

SOLAR FLARE

Another Wild Boar Farms hybrid, the Solar Flare is luscious and meaty with a slightly sweet full tomato flavor.

PAUL ROBESON

This Russian heirloom tomato has an almost cult following for its distinctive, sweet and smoky flavor. It was lovingly named in honor of Paul Robeson, the famous opera singer and equal rights advocate.

BLUE BERRIES

A small cherry variety from Wild Boar Farms, a ripe blue berry tomato is dark purple where it received the most sunlight and deep red where the fruit was shaded. These tomatoes are super-rich in anthocyanins and the flavor is intensely fruity and sugar-sweet.

BLUE GOLD BERRIES

Blue Gold Berry tomatoes are incredibly beautiful purple and yellow cherry tomatoes. These little tomatoes are bursting with loads of antioxidants and the flavor is very sweet and rich.

PINK BOAR

These port wine colored cherry tomatoes have metallic silver green stripes with an outrageous rich, sweet flavor.

As you can see, there are so many wonderful tomatoes out there right now and there are 101 ways to use them - from a juicy BLT to a luscious sauce to a easy snack. Check out our restaurantchef’s table or farmer’s market for inspiration! 

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FROM THE FARM

MAY 2017

At Long Meadow Ranch, we take our fruits and veggies very seriously. Not only do we need our organic produce for our restaurant at Farmstead, but we use it to feed our chickens and sell it to our friends at the farmer’s market. We are transitioning from spring into summer and we’ve been planting like crazy the last couple weeks.

We still have chard, kale, collards, lettuces, artichokes, and beets in the ground. If Mother Nature is kind, we should have artichokes through May, chard, kale, collards, and lettuces into June, and beets all year.

With summer just around the corner, it was time to get our summer plant starters into the ground. We start all of our plants from seeds in our greenhouses, then move them into the ground for the majority of the growing season.

This year, Jeff (our culinary farm manager) thought it would be beneficial to plant some produce rows in our fruit orchard at our Rutherford Estate. The soil is rich in organic matter from years of tilling leaves, cover crop, etc into the ground. With the addition of some of our compost, this location makes for the perfect growing conditions for both fruit trees and veggies.

After the soil was prepared, we mapped out each of the beds. There are 2 rows pictured in this bed for peppers--we’re planting 13 varietals this year!

Next, we lay the irrigation lines. Each row gets 2 tape lines.

Once the lines were placed, we laid plastic over the soil and irrigation to block weeds and for water efficiency. This special plastic comes in a variety of colors, but we use green for these plants, because it warms the soil. We use a red plastic for our tomato plants--check out our Facebook over the next few weeks for more information on why we use red plastic for tomatoes.

Before we started planting, we had to mark the distance between the plants. This row is being marked for cucumbers. The distance between the plants is important to ensure enough space for each plant to thrive

We chose to plant cucumbers in this row, because of it’s proximity to the beehive. The bees will help pollinate the Striped Armenian and Diva cucumbers.

Fun fact: the long, thin Striped Armenian cucumber is actually a member of the melon family with light and dark green stripes! Diva cucumbers are tender, crisp, sweet, and seedless.

The remaining rows on the west side of the orchard were planted with peppers. The peppers will really help the fruit trees, as they had a tough winter with all of the rain.

This year we planted: Lemon Drop, Alaku Sarga, Corbaci, Como di Torro, Fatalii, Jimmy Nardello, Leustchauer Paprika, Mayan Habanero, mixed Bell, Padron, Red Cheese, Shishito, and Urfa.

Who knew the orchard could look more beautiful than it already did?! We plan to plant melons in the eastern part of the orchard in the same manner. We’re excited to see how these plants work together in the coming months to produce lots of tasty food for our plates.

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WHERE WE ARE

February 2017

ANDERSON VALLEY ESTATE

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.

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From the Ranch

March 2016

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.

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From the Vineyard

February 2016

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!


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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!

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