Settling back in after a wonderful few days deep in the forest.
A few years ago, we began a tradition of heading off to a remote ranch in northern California to celebrate Thanksgiving with my wife's family. Liz's parents are avid naturalists and met the conservationist owner of the ranch years ago. The property has been in his family for over 70 years, and consists of 3,000 acres of grasslands and redwood groves, and even has its own lake. It basically operates as a preserve. The few residences are clustered together, leaving the vast majority of the ranch wild - as in no agricultural or grazing activites, and very limited motor vehicle access. Lots of wildlife, including birds, deer, mountain lion and bear. The owner favors renting the houses onsite out to other naturalists. Lucky for us, the Nagels qualify.
The house we stay in is rustic. Though it is 60+ years old, it only got electrity around ten years ago. It is heated by a wood stove, and the ample cooking stove is propane-fueled. The kitchen/dining/living area is conducive to preparing and consuming big meals, which is pretty much all we do, between hikes, games, piano playing, and, for the adults, wine drinking. My brother-in-law works for the Wagner family (Caymus, Belle Glos, etc.) and has his own great Pinot and Chardonnay brand called Chronicle. I suppose in the wine department it is an embarassment of riches. This year was all California. Sparkling wine, Pinot, Cabernet and Merlot, and of course Gewurztraminer!
Each year I try to break away for a lengthy hike to explore the property. This time I went south and didn't turn around until 2.5 hours into the walk when I hit the property line. It was along a river, many (as in ouch) feet in elevation below my starting point.
I took a few photos, which you can see below.
It was a rare and much-appreciated break from the 'connectivity' of cell phones, tv and the internet. Funny how much more connected you can feel when you disconnect for a while.
When I plugged back in, I found my email box full of awesome responses to my pre-Thanksgiving post, and just had to share a few of them with you. What great people GB wine drinkers are!!
Sent: Tuesday, November 22, 2011 6:26 PM
We've never met, but your winery was the first stop my wife and I made on our 1988 honeymoon. We've been WOMers for probably 20 years and always open a bottle of your wine on Thanksgiving.
Cheers to you, your family and your wine!
Sent: Tuesday, November 22, 2011 7:21 PM
Such a fabulous note you sent. To celebrate I purchased two GWTZ to take for my Gobble day dinner with family. You and your family have a great Thanksgiving.
Sent: Tuesday, November 22, 2011 7:26 PM
Can you assure me that no Gewurtztraminer was harmed in the making of these videos?
Sent: Tuesday, November 22, 2011 7:44 PM
And to you and your family as well. Great videos!
Still re-living the magical moments form our daughter's wedding at Gun-Bun on 10/1/11. Truly memorable. Thanks!
All the best,
Peter & Pam
Sent: Tuesday, November 22, 2011 8:05 PM
Jeff, Jim and the whole Bundschu (Gundlach) clan,
Have a very Happy Thanksgiving Day!!
Your "Cajun" cousin,
Sent: Wednesday, November 23, 2011 4:27 AM
Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family, Jeff. Thank you for the warm greeting. We, too, will be raising a glass of Gundlach Bundschu wine as we celebrate our blessings with you!
Sent: Tuesday, November 22, 2011 1:10 PM
Subject: RE: Happy Turkey Day, and Thank You - Autoforwarded
I loved the videos and guess what I am drinking with my turkey? GBundschu Gewurztraminer. I did not even have to cross the road, just walk to the cellar.
I loved the videos and plan to show them on Thanksgiving Day to whomever ends up at our turkey day table. Honey Badger...move over. I also have two bottles of your Gewurztraminer for dinner. Being that I am the cheapest person when it comes to buying wine, you should be impressed! My best to you and all the Bundschus...