ORGANIC WEEDS | HELP YOURSELF
Our enthusiasm for organic vineyards stems from decades of traveling and tasting across wine country.
Visiting vignerons, barrel sampling, ongoing blind tastings, and wine trade shows all reveal that many wines that remain the most expressive of terroir and the most delicious for that matter were also farmed organically.
What is the meaning of this?
Is it the cleanliness among the vines or that this ethos reflects yet another proof of a winegrower’s attention to detail?
This may remain a question to the end but when browsing our portfolio’s endless organic options, we want to underscore that this has never been a matter of greenwashing or window dressing – or even a commitment to the environment alone as laudable as that is.
Like all wines we import, each has always had to stand out head and shoulders above their peers and price points to deliver value from every glass. Organic viticulture simply proved it often embottled each region and yielded more moving wines. Much of this mystery eluded us until recently.
In May of 2011, we put in a jardin potager to serve as our kitchen garden for staff to tend and share in the fruits of our labor. For nearly a decade we harvested fruits, vegetables, and flowers for our own luncheons with surplus going to food shelves and to enjoy at tastings.
Over the years we dressed every planter bed with cubic yard upon yard of organic compost from our friends at Kern Landscaping. We discovered we shared our little garden plot with Clarice our reside groundhog.
Years in we even found a frightened and abandoned Pitbull we named Magpie or Maggie who was tenderly looked after, received surgery for injuries, nursed back to health, and then adopted into a loving home. Every garden proves so much more than a source of esculent vegetables.
A few years back we partnered with friends from the Amherst Wilder Foundation to expand the garden to serve our local Karen community who found it a nourishing respite. Gardens can heal and occupy one’s mind in meditative ways.
Our hope was to help make our corner of Frog Town even more of a home and a world away from the military dictatorship and ethnic cleansing that has engulfed Burma (Myanmar) for more than 70 years now.
Gifted farmers with a knack for growing anything they put in the ground they brought new life to our garden at The Wine Company and families came together to reap what they sowed.
Enter these blasted pandemic times. Both gardens were left to nature as people no longer gather and the lion’s share of our office staff now work from home. What comes of a decade garden left to its own devices? Previous plantings went to seed along with every sort of weed the birds flew in, and these sprung to life with a vitality we could only dream of when tending beds each week.
Without any intention, the east grounds have grown feral, high above our heads, and is now a place where the wild things are – a happenstance pollinator garden perhaps feeding more mouths than ever before – even if it these are now an exclusive feast for our invertebrate friends.
How much joy comes by accident? How much balance by neglect? We thought long about installing a rain and pollinator garden and now by some wild serendipity we have one.
Perhaps the lessons here are not to be hard on oneself or others, to find the joy in the quiet, and appreciate what good we can spy in these shifting times often furrowed by grave concern.
Should you pass our way, we invite you to admire the wild abandon of what was our potager garden …and help yourself to organic weeds.