Wine making is a tricky business. I recently visited my friend Mark Huff, owner of Stag Hollow Vineyard, who along with his wife Jill Zarnowitz, generates about 1800 cases of classic Oregon pinot noir, dolcetto, and dry-style muscat each year. Bud break is slow this year, and the clock is ticking. By mid-October, the rains come and the ripening game is over. Some years, it just doesn't happen, and green, unapproachable wines are the result. For small producers like Mark and Jill, who shoulder much of the hard labor and all of the risk, distributors often pass them over and the profit margins are slim. But they sit on good dirt - south-facing Willakenzie soil, and have produced some very fine wines over the years. Their modest Yamhill-Carlton spread has only about 6 acres in vines, but is nestled among big players like Ken Wright Cellars and Willakenzie Estate, and they are able to purchase the extra fruit required to finish a vintage from adjacent vineyards. And there is considerable creativity too, with an alternative trellis design, and a focus on old-world Burgundian style wines. They also grow 8 different pinot clones, including 3 acres of the esteemed Pommard clone, and, with 15 years experience, skillfully blend these into very rich wines of surprising depth and character. And I swear I can taste the patience in these wines too, a calm undercurrent, refocusing the characteristic black cherry and cedar box flavors into a harmonic convergence that lights up your palate. Google Stag Hollow and arrange for a tasting visit next time you head to the Valley, or simply purchase a few bottles on good faith over the phone. You might see a few bottles on the store shelves as well, so keep your eyes peeled. These are really special wines that are worth searching out. For something different, try their dolcetto and muscat offerings, you won't be disappointed.
The Source Issue 45 (Nov. 10) contained wonderful information about the forms of yoga offered in our vicinity. Most of the information covered pertained to the socially enjoyable forms of yoga enjoyed by the folks who use yoga mats and bendy posturing as they concentrate on improving their blissful breathing techniques. These physical forms of yoga are the beautiful compliments to the mental, mindful and meditative forms of yoga that balance the larger yoga (yogic) equation.
Yoga is basically a non-denominational practice aimed at balancing the physical (body) existence with the meta-physical (mind) reality. The ensuing mind-body balance creates the union required for an increased "understanding" (consciousness) of the "living experience."
In the time-honored American tradition of peaceful civil disobedience, I am proud to be one of eight Central Oregon citizens arrested on December 5 in Congressman Greg Walden's Bend office.
At our January 26 trial we plan to present a compelling defense.
This act of dissent follows years of futile attempts to encourage the Congressman to hold open, unscripted town meetings accessible to a majority of his constituents.
The Congressman has grown so suspicious of impromptu encounters with ordinary citizens that on Saturday he required a Bend Police Department intervention that enabled him to enter the Water Project meeting at the Chamber of Commerce through the back door. (Greg, we are nonviolent people who believe that democracy thrives on open dialogue and transparency; there is no reason to avoid us.)
I had to respond to "What's Wrong with Siri," (News, 1-4) since Apple's Siri isn't the problem.
Three hours before I read, "What's wrong with Siri," I went to a store in town and complimented the cashier that this was the nicest "dollar" store I had ever been in.