I was just reminded of our newsletter archives from 1997, where I had described the problems we had been having with deer coming in from the wild areas above the family vineyards and eating the grapevines my father so diligently cares for. (You can find my Hemingway inspired recap here.) The solution was to install a deer fence which has done much to prevent (or at least discourage) their nocturnal meals and damage to the vines. This Summer, however, the deer have returned to the extent that they are comfortable even in my dad’s garden at the house. Now, if you’ve ever talked with my Dad about his garden, you know that’s getting pretty personal. Last weekend I had time to take a hike along some of the fence line that isn’t easily accessible or visible. Sure enough, I found that a tree had fallen on a section of the fence, allowing the deer to make an easy hop into their own Garden of Eden for midnight snacks and breakfast. A few cuts with a chainsaw, a little straightening out of wires and re-fastening to the posts and my Dad and I had the perimeter again secure. Problem identified, problem solved.
And as I reflect now almost 20 years later, our family has grown, I became self-employed and the winery has grown beyond its modest beginning and is able to support our family. I feel very lucky to have ancestors who purchased agricultural land well over a century ago, to have a family whose successive generations commit to living and working with the land. It’s not an easy path. But it is the one I have chosen and have tried to honor the efforts of those that have toiled before.
Download the complete newsletter: A fence thru it.