[Paperwhite flowers are a typical December bloom. Photo by Jo Diaz.]

The beginning of December – this season – has been beautiful weather wise and visually. I’m now in the Mayacamas Mountains, above the Alexander Valley floor. The views are spectacular… stunning, really. Perhaps this is why my devotion to blogging every day has waned a bit. I’m drawing in inspiration, for sure, from what’s around me. It’s stellar and an opportunity of a lifetime, to have this view on a daily basis.

December wine county: I asked Joe Freeman, of the Rubin Family of Wines, if I could share images he just shared with me, and he said, “Sure.” I, too have been closely watching this past fall season. Joe’s photos are from Green Valley (Russian River Valley) and mine are from ahigh (Alexander Valley). Both are in Sonoma County. Yin yang…

Winemaker Joe Freeman’s Introduction on the Web

Joe Freeman is the winemaker for The Rubin Family of Wines. I’ve been getting to know Joe for the last four years, besides also getting to know his softly elegant Pinot Noirs, along with his other wine varieties. Pinot winemakers are an interesting breed.

I just got to review his images for his December Newsletter. It was an important reminder of how beautiful wine country really is, even in barren December. Since not everyone lives out here, it’s worth sharing them. Intro for his monthly blogging newsletter:

Hi! I’m Joe Freeman, winemaker for The Rubin Family of Wines, in Green Valley of the Russian River Valley, and this is “Joe’s Winemaking Notes.” Each month I will share what’s happening in the vineyards, the winery, and throughout our corner of the winemaking world. The keys to making great wine change with the seasons, and I’ll strive to give you a snapshot of what it’s like being winemaker for an artisan family winery and vineyard in Sonoma County.

He’s a marvelous writer, too. His monthly Newsletters, called Joe’s Winemaking Notes, come to me for a quick review… you know, a comma, that’s about it. He writes so well, I have to remind myself I’m editing. It takes a few sweeps, because I get swept up in it, being a lover of good stories; I then have to go back and catch myself… Buck up, be a pro, you know! I get pulled right back in, because his stories are so informational of “the now.” If you’re curious about every step of the way in the month of a winemaker, Joe’s your guy.

I’m going to share both separate photographic eyes and lenses, beginning with Joe. Enjoy, with a bit about Joe first.

Joe’s chronicled this past year in great detail, from vineyards to cellar activities, bottling and new wines going into the bottle, and activities outside of the winery, as part of his job. Perhaps even a “Wine of the Week” by Peg Melnik (River Road, 2014, Stephanie’s Cuvee, Green Valley of the Russian River Valley, Sonoma County Pinot Noir), or a recipe pairing of Pairings: Pinot noir with shellfish, written by chef and author Michele Anna Jordan will show up, because it’s exciting news to receive. Joe Freeman has a lot on his mind and shares it well. I loved being in the vineyards with him, even if from afar.

Joe Freeman ~ Images of Green Valley of the Russian River Valley

Jo Diaz ~ Images of Alexander Valley from a Geyserville Mayacamas Mountain Ridge

Happy December, everyone!