With our Deed Day Writing Contest fast approaching this Friday, March 12, 2010, all week we are sharing some lyrical gems from our archive to help inspire creativity. Today, we go back a few decades to the days of the Sonoma Valley Wine Patrol.
For fifty years after prohibition, our family grew high quality wine grapes on Rhinefarm and sold them to other wineries. In 1969, Jim Bundschu convinced his father Towle to reopen the winery. In the years that would follow, Jim blazed a trail to introduce the world to Sonoma Valley wines and Gundlach Bundschu in particular.
This was the era of some of the most legendary stories of Gundlach Bundschu, when Jim and his compatriots calling themselves The Wine Patrol, donned masks and capes to hijack the Napa Wine Train, kidnap Sir Richard Branson, and lead scores of wine salespeople on mystery tours around the country, all in the name of celebrating the legacy and quality of Sonoma Valley.
The Sonoma Valley Wine Patrol had an oath, and at any gathering, members were committed to reciting, if not actually performing, the spirited toast. Times have changed, but the spirit of the lyrical poem remains - that every hour of every day is an opportunity to appreciate life's great gifts.
As a Rider of the Wine Patrol
I grapefully pledge
To uncork sparklers at dawn
slurp Riesling at nine
quaff Chenin at eleven
power two godly bottles at lunch
Gewurz & Gamay
unburden the afternoon with Burgundy
sip Sherry at four, all hail Ale at five
shower with rainwater at six
collude with patriots and Merlot at seven
hove to Port at ten
sing Sauternes at midnight.
After which, everyone stays the night
'til it be sparkling dawn again.