The Accidental Winemaker
I never dreamed that I'd be a winemaker! Several years ago, we came to California with our small herd of horses to escape the Florida summers. While my wife was fully involved with the horses, I became interested in the vineyards around our ranch. Met some good people, got interested. And now, in 2020, we've bottled the first of grapes that I helped source and blend, wines that have my input with the assistance of master winemaker, Steve Clifton.
Hopefully, you will enjoy drinking these wines as much as I've enjoyed making them.
How did it get to be October? Only last blog it was the 2022 Holiday Season. Just yesterday. And it has been a big, busy year. Kent and Rona' wedding at the Florida farm. Christmas in North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and New York. And then the big, sad news - we placed the CA ranch on the market to be closer to east coast family. Which meant that we had to figure out summer in Ocala. We figured out that summer in Ocala is brutal on the warmbloods. And the guys.
Rona's horses and ponies are all doing well and loving their riders and their jobs. Our ducks are doing well and love the Florida summer rains. Rona's also been rehabbing more baby squirrels (so cute). We were happy to host a number of Canadien riders for a "last gallop" before heading to the Pan Am Games in Chile, where they took home the Gold in Eventing. Earlier this year, we added our eigth horse, Clover, an ex-equitation horse learning to love his new job in eventing. He won his first Amoeba Level at Barnstaple South in Ocala this summer and more importantly had a great time.
Kent traveled to Fiji with our eldest grandson for a great two week trip of snorkeling, fishing, sailing, etc. Wonderful time had by all. We had multiple trips to NC and PA to visit with family. Same grandson's travel lacrosse team were Champions in a regional tournament in Charlotte in late October - we got to see three great games before heading north to surprise Rona's mother for her 89th birthday.
Fall brought our annual sponsorship of Plantation Fields horse trials in PA, the PA Hunt Cup, Duke Jump For The Children, and new ones - Barnstaple South shows and Horse Farms Forever, both in Ocala. We were happy to be able to attend a fantastic though soggy Plantation Fields weekened, Barnstaple shows, and the Horse Farms Forever Conversations about Conservation.
On to planning holiday travel and beyond...