Some stories are so good that they write themselves. Occasionally someone writes a story to you, or for you, and the story deserves a bigger play and the author deserves a byline.
Yesterday's Insider featured one of Mike Officer's brilliant new Carlisle Zinfandels, the 2008 Dry Creek Valley Gold Mine, reviewed by Tim Fish. Last night an email arrived from the owner of the vineyard, Jan Mettler, who owns Boss Dog Marketing. In the note that follows she describes the vineyard and the man who planted it.
"I was pleased to see the Wine Spectator review of the Carlisle wine made from my old vines here in Dry Creek Valley," she wrote. "I've nurtured this old vineyard since 1972, when I moved to the area as part of the back-to the-land tribe, fresh out of college.
"Old Charlie Derrick was the first curious neighbor to drop in on our young, long-haired household. He told me he and his brother planted the vineyard before joining the U.S. Cavalry to fight in WWI.
"Other than his military service, Charlie lived his life here in DCV, plowed with mules, bragged about being caught by 'Revenuers' during Prohibition, and his homemade wine had psychedelic properties (I think it may have been the sulfur wicks he used).
"He was a water dowser and prospector, digging holes all over the hillsides and making crude jewelry with his ore. There is an old, collapsed gold mine adjacent to the vineyard, in a winter creek. Hence the vineyard designate.
"If Mike Officer didn't already make a Carlo's vineyard Zin, we would have named the vineyard for Charlie. The old pruning scars tell the story."
Look for more coverage of great California Zinfandels, and the people behind them, coming up in Wine Spectator's June 30 issue.
Steven Sherman — san francisco — April 8, 2010 9:57pm ET
Ann Suchta — Wimington, Delaware — April 9, 2010 8:17am ET
Peter Vangsness — Springfield, MA — April 9, 2010 9:10am ET
David A Zajac — Akron, OH — April 9, 2010 2:20pm ET
James Laube — Napa, CA — April 9, 2010 4:44pm ET
Tim Fish — Santa Rosa, CA — April 9, 2010 5:03pm ET
Jason Thompson — Foster City, CA — April 15, 2010 3:14pm ET
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