THE BEET: news & notes from the ranch

March 2018


Full Circle Farming

With five properties consisting of vineyards, olive groves, fruits and vegetables, cattle, horses, chickens, and bees, we take an approach called Full Circle Farming; an organic, sustainable, integrated farming system that relies on each part of the ranch to contribute to the health of the whole. Nearly every ingredient—from the grapes that go into our wines, to the beef used in our burger at the restaurant at Farmstead—is harvested at our farm. 

In this months BEET, we’ll introduce you to the Long Meadow Ranch artisans that make it all possible.

Kipp Ramsey, our Farm to Table Manager and Sous Chef, said it best, “we are one team working every single day towards the same goal.” Long Meadow Ranch artisans share an unwavering passion for agriculture, wine, food, and service. The success of the whole relies heavily on each and every artisan excelling at their particular craft.


JOSEPH HARDIN, Director of Agricultural Operations

Joseph Hardin oversees all the farming operations for the vineyards, olive groves, fruit and vegetables, cattle, horses, chickens and bees at our five properties. In addition, Hardin also manages our agricultural land trust and conservation efforts.

JEFF RUSSELL, Culinary Farm Manager

Inspired by a love of nature and all things plant related since the age of 14, Jeff Russell never considered an occupation other than organic farming. Russell joined Long Meadow Ranch as culinary farm manager.


Sean McEntire oversees all things olive for Long Meadow Ranch, including maintaining the health of both our ancient and young groves, meticulous lot selection, careful blending, and the milling of our organic liquid gold.

ROB KELLER, Beekeeper

Rob Keller is known around Napa Valley as “THE beekeeper”. Our colony of honeybees is hard at work pollinating our fruit trees, vegetable gardens and vineyards, as well as producing our delectable organic honey.


STEPHEN BARBER, Executive Chef

Award-winning chef Stephen Barber leans on his Southern roots in his ingredient-driven approach to our restaurant at Farmstead at Long Meadow Ranch. Barber brings over 20 years of experience from all over the US.

KIPP RAMSEY, Farm to Table Manager and Sous Chef

Chef Kipp Ramsey plays an integral role between our farm and the table. Learn more about our Artisan of the Month below!

MICHAEL MARKOFF, Executive Sous Chef

Executive sous chef Michael Markoff was born in Vienna and raised throughout Europe where he was exposed to a wide variety of cuisines that expanded his palate and fueled his passion for cooking.


As estate chef at Long Meadow Ranch, Aaron Marthaler creates an elegant menu designed to showcase our collection of estate-grown wines and ingredients fresh from the farm at our Chef’s Table experience.

Get to know the team more, here.

At any given time, you’ll find our artisans and their teams walking our properties in order to make sure that every part, is working for the whole. While the culinary team excels at seeing the farm from a culinary perspective, the agricultural team understands the harvest and helps shape what ultimately ends up on your plate. It truly takes a village to carry out our motto: “Excellence through Responsible Farming” and it’s a difference you can truly taste.


A Kentucky native, chef Kipp Ramsey plays an integral role between our farm and the table. As our Farm to Table Manager and Sous Chef, Ramsey leads the charge alongside our farm team to determine what to plant and how much to fuel our restaurant and farmers market. After several years of cooking in New York, Kipp followed the culinary trail to California where he reconnected with chef Barber and the rest is history. He lives in Napa with his wife and sons.

How long have you been with LMR?

Almost 6 1/2 years.

What are you working on right now? 

Right now I am planning out this year's LMR grass-fed beef and lamb needs with our livestock manager, Sophia Bates, based on when we expect to harvest our animals. This includes how the animals will be fabricated and where they will be allocated for our restaurant, the farmers market, chef’s table, and various private events. I’m also working closely with Jeff Russell, our Culinary Farm Manager, and the entire farm production team to maintain our flow of produce to the restaurant based on the growing plan we developed. This allows me to work with Executive Chef Stephen Barber and the sous chefs on transitioning the menu to consistently incorporate all of the great offerings of the season.

What's been your biggest work-related success?

I feel like we have come a long way with the progress and quality of our garden production levels and the quality of our cattle and lamb programs.

Do you have a funny fail?

I have failed a lot when in the kitchen... if you can't laugh it off and figure out how to fix it, then you're only kidding yourself.

Who are your most influential mentors and why?

I've always been very grateful to anyone that has given me opportunities to work and learn under their guidance. I was lucky enough to have been given the chance to step into a professional kitchen under Chef Dan Latham back in Mississippi, which led me to want to understand more about making great food and amazing food-related experiences. That fueled my passion for the hospitality industry which led me to attend the CIA in Hyde Park where I began working with Chef Francesco Buitoni while still in school. His passion and intensity pushed me to be more critical and truly cook with the seasons as my main focus. This ultimately led me to reach out to Chef Barber, who gave me the chance to move to California and cook in the Napa Valley. That was almost 8 years ago now and I have been truly grateful to learn how to appreciate the seasonality of the Napa Valley and California and learn how to make great BBQ. Ultimately, my father is the most influential mentor in my life. I try to hold myself to the same standards he sets not only professionally but personally. All of these people have helped in guiding my way.

Do you have any advice for someone looking to pursue a culinary career?

I would say always try and push yourself to do your best and don’t be afraid to fail. Never let an opportunity to learn pass you by, and don’t put anything off until tomorrow. Lastly, always treat people the way you want to be treated.

If you could enjoy a meal with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be?

I would love to have dinner with my brother, he passed away when I was a young child. It would be nice to share a meal, as adults.

What has been your favorite project since working with LMR?

I've really enjoyed just being a part of something that has grown so large in such a short amount of time. I take pride in being a part of that success and I am grateful for the opportunity to contribute to the goals of the company on many different levels.


As we head into spring, our Rutherford Estate is buzzing with all kinds of delicious vegetables and pairs well with our Sauvignon Blanc, Rutherford, Napa Valley, 2017. Crudité platters (pronounced “krew/dee/tay”) are harder to say than they are to make, we promise. Here are our 5 tips for making a beautiful crudité platter at home, plus a recipe for our LMR Ranch dressing!

1. Buy or pick what's in season - right now we are loving beets, radishes, kale and carrots

2. If using asparagus, string beans, or sugar snap peas, blanch the vegetables first

3. Cut the vegetables within two hours of party time to keep them fresh

4. Include multiple dips. Whip up our LMR Ranch dressing:

Long Meadow "Ranch"

  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 tbsp. finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 1/4 tsp. finely chopped fresh chives
  • 1 tsp. finely chopped fresh dill
  • 2 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 tsp. black pepper

Whisk ingredients in a mixing bowl until smooth. Refrigerate at least 1 hour or up to 3 days.

5. Pair your crudité masterpiece with a crisp and refreshing wine like our 2017 Sauvignon Blanc, Rutherford, Napa Valley. 


Try an all-natural method to dye your Easter eggs using vegetables and fruits found in our garden or your home.

Pink: 1/2 cup of chopped or sliced beets per cup of water

Orange: 1 tsp Turmeric per cup of water

Prepping the Eggs:

1. Hard-boil your eggs by placing them in a pot with cold water, ensuring they are completely submerged

2. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat

3. Remove the pot, set aside for 8-10 minutes


1. Combine your first chosen vegetable and corresponding amount of water in a pot, ensuring the vegetables are submerged

2. Bring to a boil

3. Let your water mixture simmer for 10-15 minutes (longer time produces stronger colors) then let cool to room temperature

4. Strain the water to remove the vegetables(s)

5. Soak your hard-boiled eggs in drained color water for 30 minutes


Our 2017 Sauvignon Blanc, Rutherford, Napa Valley has arrived. Stock up >

Tags: recipe wine farm artisan chardonnay beets