Friday, September 24, 2010

A Man of Many Names

Drew and I have known each other since preschool. He is a local legend in San Diego, and has acquired many aliases over the years. This picture shows one of my favorites: Biddy Jr. Photo by Nick Cook

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Second Home

Since moving to Napa Valley at the beginning of August, I've been spending most of my weekends in San Francisco. It's been really fun, particularly since so many of my friends from San Luis Obispo live there now, including Andy, Mike, and Hayes. They, and their roommate Jay, have allowed me to stay at their place whenever I've asked, and always have some fun stuff planned when I arrive. Pretty cool having a second home. Thanks a lot boys, I'm sure there's plenty of more good times to come.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Harvest Update - All Sparkles

Well, my second vintage of 2010 has started off quite late and slowly, but it's soon to get busy. So far, we've only harvested a total of 70 tons split between Pinot Noir and Chardonnay destined for sparkling wine. Last week saw the Chardonnay arrive, two weeks after we received our first ten tons of Pinot Noir. With a handful of tanks full and fermenting, it's beginning to feel like harvest though this week should see our first big influx of grapes. Still, cool weather is not allowing fruit to ripen as usual, and is beginning to make winemakers throughout the valley wonder whether poor weather will arrive before fruit is harvested.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Napa Biking

I've been mountain biking since I was in high school, but didn't really start getting serious until I moved to San Luis Obispo. The county is known for the diversity of trails and riding conditions that can be found. Surfing was always a priority, but I could regularly be found on my bike when the surf was flat. After a few accidents, I gave up biking to save myself the pain (and lack of surfing waiting to heal).
Living over an hour from the ocean now, mountain biking has quickly become a staple in my weekly routine. Napa Valley is home to some amazing mountain bike trails that rival, if not surpass, those of San Luis Obispo. Though I've only had the opportunity to sample a few places, I have not been disappointed. One of my favorites has been the Oat Hill Mine Road trail, which lies just east of Calistoga.
 
This old mine road was shut down in the mid-1960's and has since deteriorated nicely into a rather technical biking trail. The trail climbs eight miles before running into the Aetna Springs trailhead, with the first half being the most challenging. I have yet to reach the trail's summit, primarily due to the time required (maybe 3 hours roundtrip?) but I have made it about two hours in (my guess would be 5 miles). The views from the trail are amazing, and there are rarely people hiking here and fewer biking.
 

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Still Missing Indonesia

It's hard to believe I've been back in California over two months. I have been keeping myself rather busy; I've bought a new car, found a new job, and moved to a new place. It almost feels like I'm still traveling or living in a different country. Nonetheless, I can't help but think back to all the epic waves and experiences I had in Indonesia earlier this year. I especially can't help but think how jealous I am that some friends are still there now, living it. Photos: 1. Me,  2. Empty perfection,  3. Beer Dropoff in the middle of nowhere,  4. Me, on a 6'4".