“Now over everything the autumn light is thrown
And every line is sharp and every leaf is clear…”– Poem in Autumn, by May Sorton
It really does seem like the light is different in autumn. I’m not sure why. There seems to be a clarity often enhanced by the morning chill. The sun lights up trees that otherwise would have merely absorbed the sunlight in the cool photosynthetic duty of morning life. But now, as the chlorophyll has faded, the light shines through the leaves making them almost incandescent. Now the light is illuminated by the very transparency of the faded leaves.
“…The leaves, light-penetrated, change their essence,
Take on the gold transparence of the weather…”– Poem in Autumn (cont.), by May Sorton
It’s true. Everything does seem brighter; everything seems to contrast in a magical panoply of amber, ochre, and gold that illuminates the contrasting rustic reds, burgundies and caramel creams.
We are such visual creatures that when the light pumps our emotional centers as we walk in the woods, the very smell of autumn enhances the intoxicating aromas of sweet tobacco, fragrant flowers, and forest floor. We feel the chill and we luxuriate in the sun’s warmth, each sense being critically and excitedly contrasted by the opposite other.
“…So we, first touched by death, were changed in essence,
As if grief grew transparent and turned to airy gold.”– Poem in Autumn (cont.), by May Sorton
Why are these sensations so poignant? Why do they prick us with yearning, even regret? Because this is nature’s way of preparing us for what is to come, the death of winter.
Autumn is the season of sweet-sorrow and every year it comes later and later.
Harvest is over. It was a good harvest, total 375 tons!
Wedding season is over – it was a good season.
Here is an excerpt from a letter from a bride that typifies so many of the letters that our wedding Events Manager, Emily Clemenson, gets after she completes a wedding:
And last but certainly not least, we need to give a very special shout out to Emily C. who we included here on this message. Planning our wedding with her at Veritas was an absolute pleasure, from her quick and clear responses leading up to our big day, to the careful day-of coordination we received including re-packing all of our items with care after the event, we are so grateful for everything she did for us.
She is a true gem and is great at what she does!!– Alyssa Powlakoski
Great job Emily!
Bill Tonkins, our redoubtable field marshal and vineyard manager, is marking our first new planting since 2018. The field is behind our house and, when complete, will amount to almost four acres of Merlot. The architect who designed our house was Hugh Newell-Jacobsen. We have decided to name the field “The Jacobsen Field.”
This is one of the unexpected benefits of our spray program. In the year 2000, there was a dogwood tree on the top meadow that was barely an excuse for a dogwood. As soon as we started our spray program for the grapes, the otherwise unfortunate tree began to thrive and blossom; it had been held back all its life by powdery mildew that was eliminated by our spray program.
All is safely gathered in, ’ere the winter storms begin…All 375 tons of clean, disease-free grapes that is (thanks to Bill and his worthy crew). I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – the wine is made in the vineyard and thanks to our equally worthy cellar crew they make the best of the best.
Harvest was completed relatively early this year finishing in the first week of October. We usually finish by the last week of October.
We did it or rather Patricia did it. The new dining room along with the new kitchen catered our Harvest Dinner October 24th. We celebrated with a five course dinner paired with the best of Veritas wines.
I want to give a shout out to our Executive Chef Brandon Masters who battled through the previous four weeks with his left arm in a cast with a broken bone in his thumb. Most guys would have taken time off to get over the trauma, but not Brandon; he stuck it out and with the help of Ricardo Sanchez, the two of them kept the doors open. We owe them a true debt of gratitude, at the same as I introduce our latest addition to the Farmhouse culinary team, Chef John Mieklejohn. Actually in full disclosure, John was the chef at Brandon’s wedding. They have been buddies over the years. We welcome John – probably not as much as Brandon does – the two of them promise to take cuisine at the Farmhouse to even greater heights.
Here’s a nice story about a friend I met several years ago when I was a judge at the Atlantic Seaboard Wine competition Anne Vercelli. She was from San Francisco and, like me, was judging the competition. Not to mention that she teaches Italian cuisine and is the Assistant Director of the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition.
We became friends, and over the years whenever Anne was on the east coast she would arrange to come to Veritas to taste our wines. Last time she was here, I mentioned that Patricia and I planned to visit Santa Rosa for our wedding anniversary at the end of September. Well, Santa Rosa is about half an hour south of Healdsburg where Anne lives.
She arranged a two day tour of the best of Sonoma wineries where she is regarded by all as one of Sonoma’s most favorite people. We had a blast. I have never tasted so many beautiful wines – Sonoma always being my most favorite spot in California. If anyone wants a five star tour of Sonoma, I know the person to call!
Let me tell you about my grandchildren…
And so, with so much angst in the world our lives go on and we finish yet another harvest just like we always do.
Will we ever as a species be able to fix what we have caused? I just hope that harvest will go on just as it always does for Elsie, Isla, Charlotte, Mimi, Hailey, and Lydia.
Well folks that’s it. All the news fit to print from our Veritas family, where everyone who wants to be vaccinated is and all those who don’t want to be vaccinated are urged to stay home.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving,
Raconteur and Dilettante Ret’d.