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Fallow the Yellow Brink Road at Trefethen on April Fool’s Day

What a great marketing effort by Trefethen.

First of all, who doesn’t love to get packages in the mail?

Secondly, who doesn’t love a practical joke?

Thirdly… We’re all headed toward April Fool’s day, and Trefethen has just nailed it!

In an effort to get my attention, they sent their new release to me… A bottle of Trefethen Family Vineyard 2009 Fallow. A fallow field, for anyone who doesn’t yet know, is one which is allowed to have a break from production… By allowing the land to rest between plantings, it picks up natural, nitrogenous waste over the time of non plantings, and this naturally re-energizes the land for the next planting of vines. This is great a viticultural (and agricultural) practice.

Quoting their material:

History of Fallow/Historical Importance: while Napa’s grape acreage has continued to grow over the past forty years, true Napa Valley Fallow is not seen nearly as it once was. It used to be common practice to leave a portion of each farm fallow to allow the land to naturally recover and come back into balance after harvest..

Over the forty years that we have grown grapes on our land in the Napa Valley, we have regularly replanted sections of our vineyards to replace old vines and introduce more sustainable farming practices. With this process we occasionally have a small section of the vineyard that we leave as fallow ground for a year, to rest and recover.

Hum… I wonder what variety will eventually be planted in this fallow vineyard?

[SIDEBAR: Do you realize that if a vineyard doesn’t have this kind of recovery, the fertilizer used can be a chemical one? Those chemicals aren’t natural to your body, by the way. Lately, I’ve been pondering the bee phenomena… that bee populations are in decline, and some that are with us have curious birth defects. I’m wondering if the chemicals that are sprayed on plants are affecting bee populations. These honey bees are pollinating the eventual flowers of plants that were chemically treated, then eating that honey… So do we, by the way. Just thinking…]

Meanwhile, my bottle of Trefethen Fallow has an expiration date of April 1, so – regrettably – this silliness isn’t going to last much longer, but with the kind of pondering I get myself into, you can see why I need April Fools’ Day, and the good lead in that I was given this year!

I’m so delighted that someone on the Trefethen team thinks with the right side of his or her brain. Perhaps it’s because it’s their new generation bringing in new blood… new energy, new vigor, and new daring. So, I just asked Loren Trefethen if he’s part of the “next generation,” to which he replied, “Indeed we are. I’ve been working in the family biz full time for the last 3 years, and Hailey joined the team last summer.” Their joie de vivre is definitely showing!

Whatever it is, Applause!

Loren and Hailey Trefethen,
along with Winemaker Zeke Neeley
and Director of Viticulture and Winemaking, Jon Ruel (pictured),
introduce a new wine

The first reference to April’s Fool Day is perhaps Chaucer in Canterbury Tales in 1392, referencing two fools. For me, today, it’s just a day to laugh a bit more, because it still the best medicine. When I opened my box from Trefethen, I was at first perplexed… And then I had a really good laugh. Their accompanying material gave me all the details I needed to know that this was a great attention getter.

The bottle label reads:

Trefethen Family Vineyard
2009 Fallow
Oak Knoll district of Napa Valley
Alc 0% by Vol

You can all Fallow the Yellow Brick Road at Trefethen on April Fool’s Day, during their squirt gun fight in their fallow field… No kidding.

Pretty creative irrigating, if you ask me… And what a hoot that’s going to be!

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