Bob and I met in a bar called The Little Bear in Evergreen Colorado in 1991. We married in 1995 and lived in Evergreen for the most part until we moved to the farm. Bob’s background is in woodworking, home remodeling and general contracting. He’s gifted at building and inventing tools and engineering solutions to problems, all of which come in handy on a farm. He pretty much runs everything out here and usually has several projects going at once to rehab the house and the various barns, not to mention the development and management of the winery and vineyard. Bob is a native of the Pacific Northwest and has lived in Seattle, Portland and Tacoma. So moving here was a homecoming for him.
Nathan has been with us since before our first vines went into the ground in the spring of 2011. He is from St. Helena in California’s Napa Valley where his family grew grapes and made wine for four generations. About the time we were starting our vineyard, Nathan went looking for America’s next great wine region and settled here in Elkton, Oregon. He’s been a tremendous help to us as we’ve established our vineyard and winery and now, in addition to running our vineyard crews, he is our winemaker. Nathan likes to sing, loudly, when he works in the vineyard. Fortunately, he has a good voice.
Nick is a native of Elkton who we hired to paint our house a few years ago and he’s been helping Bob with renovation projects and farm maintenance ever since. He also helps out in the vineyard, especially at busy times such as planting, pruning and harvest. Nick knows the best spots to go crabbing or mushroom hunting around Elkton. His dog, Honeymoon, comes to work with him and is an honorary member of our pack.
George is another local here in Elkton that keeps cows on our bottom land. He helps Bob with fencing, haying and other farm-related challenges. He is a great resource because he knows the history of our property. If something is broken or confusing, George probably knows a story about how it’s been fixed in the past.
Tylor is a tortured poet and aspiring grape farmer from Roseburg, Oregon that helps out in the vineyard and winery, and with odd jobs around the farm. He brings a lot of enthusiasm to his work, which is a welcome boost on a grey, rainy day. And as you can see, he is a favorite of Uma and the rest of our pack.
Shella is my best friend in Elkton. She grew up here riding wild Mustangs and ponies. She keeps her horse, Bo, in our barn and does a lot to help with our herd and coach me on my riding. She is one of the few people I trust to watch our horses if we are gone. Shella knows what to do in an equine, or human, medical emergency. She’s also great at canning all the great berries and other stuff that grows here. That’s something I need to learn how to do.
Buffy Duck and Jazzy Duck are Peeps, if you consider they started life in an Easter basket! (Get it? Peeps! Like the marshmallow Peeps!!). The sister of our meter reader in Colorado got them as ducklings and gave them to her kids’ for Easter. Of course, they grew up to be ducks and weren’t so cute anymore, so they ended up in a chicken coop. The meter reader saw them trying to swim in the water dish and asked us to adopt them. We had recently lost a pet duck and had a habitat all ready. When we made the move to the farm, Buffy and Jazzy came ‘cross country with Bob in his van, happily quacking and chortling to Bluegrass Music along the way.