“In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer”
On January 3rd 2004, a plane carrying 148 passengers and 6 crew members crashed into the Red Sea. There were no survivors. The passengers included my older brother Edward, his wife Isabelle and their three sons David, Paul and Thomas. After a random loss of this magnitude, life started to lose meaning for me. I desperately needed to find something in my life that offered a sense of hope, renewal and connection to my departed loved ones. I was living in Sonoma at the time after completing a stint as a harvest intern (aka cellar rat). A friend noting my struggles suggested that we go see a piece of land that was on the market in Philo before heading over to the Anderson Valley Pinot Festival.
The property was perched on a 300 ft plateau nestled between the Navarro River and Highway 128. The land was owned by a family of homesteaders from Oklahoma who were moving on to greener pastures. The place had been badly neglected. Along with rusted out cars and trash, the property was consumed by a forest of overgrown pine trees, remnants of a long forgotten Christmas tree operation. After bush whacking through the property for several hours it became crystal clear that this was the vehicle by which I could channel my sadness and loss into a lasting homage. The path from that morning to today has been filled with all the highs and lows one would expect from a farming venture but, the connection to the earth and the cycles of the crops (life) has been deeply healing. It is with great pride and joy that I welcome you to come see and taste the transformation and renewal of Angel Camp Vineyards.