June is one of my favorite times of the year when spring turns to summer and we enjoy the longest days of the year. Those extra minutes of sunshine are what help our grapes develop their flavors. June is always when we gather among the vines for our annual Dinner in the Vineyard which we just held, celebrating our 20th anniversary. This event is one of the most magical nights of the year, but this year was a bit of a surprise as we had a freak and brief rainstorm as we sat down to eat. While we had some covering, those who attended snuggled close together while rain dripped on the table, with everyone bonding while the wine flowed.
In my 25 years at Bell Mountain, I don’t think it’s ever rained in June, and I was thrilled for the extra water to fill our ponds and give our dry soil one last drink of water. We don’t expect to see rain again until November. This strange rain event was a reminder that while long summer days bring on joy and relaxation, there is always a lingering worry in my mind about our annual fire season and how precious the water we do have at Bell Mountain is to us.
Water and fire go hand in hand in my mind and are critical to our operations which is why we’ve dedicated two of our six Pillars of Sustainability to addressing these challenges. In April we talked about our goals of eliminating our carbon footprint and enhancing the biodiversity of our farm. Now we want to share our goals surrounding fire and water.