Dear Loyal Customers,


My apologies for missing a year in our newsletters, but wow what a year it was…

It started with me fancying myself as a bronc buster comparable only to Booger Red with the tenacity of Tom Mix. Having watched almost every western ever made, surely made me an expert in every way. My will, versus the will, of a beautiful 1500-pound Morgan gelding, I almost felt sorry for the horse as I prepared. Did I mention horses have the brain the size of a black walnut and have never seen “The Misfits”. Strapped in life flight helicopter with a broken back, lucidity finally struck me with the of clarity of lake Tahoe. I am no cowboy and even John Wayne had a stuntman when he was over fifty. For several months my biggest decision was what wine goes with Jell-O and Beef broth.

The summer fires were quite the experience. The human tragedies were shocking. Let alone the north state atmosphere looked like Beijing on a hot afternoon. Even though we were on the west side of the fires and had many days with clean air, understandably guests to Trinity stayed away in droves. The winery/East Fork Valley was under mandatory evacuation twice, we just kept picking and crushing, meanwhile convincing the out of area fire bosses that my truck pulling a 1500-gallon water tank, manned by the valley denizens composed the elite crack “East Fork Volunteer Hotshot Fire Team” and needed to stay, and stay we did. In the end the fire fighters slowed the fire then rains stopped them about three quarters of a mile from the winery. The harvest turned out remarkably well. I had learned valuable lessons during the fires of 2008 and changed our farming practices to minimize any damage.

I also had a lesson on the circle of life, Leah (my daughter) who graduated in animal science and was adamant that she never wanted to be in the wine industry, is now the vineyard manager for Fresno State’s 130-acre vineyard. She suggested we both attend the winter trade show in Sacramento, where it was a little shocking to me that she knew more people in the industry than I do. Oh well, I still got a little respect for having worked forty-one harvests. But the good news is that she now calls me more often, which goes something like…. Hi Dad how are you doing……pause…. oh, by the way how do you……?? But the truth is I’m gleaning more information from her than she knows, don’t tell her that I said that.

Trina and the crew wants you to know we’ve had a wonderful rain and snow year so the forests thirst has been quenched, the lake should be high and we have a new boat ramp being built in Trinity Center, this looks like the prefect year to come visit Trinity Lake and Alpen Cellars.