Thanks for reading these. Max and I have been switching off every week or so, sharing stories for a year now. Just a month ago Max wrote about Sky Vineyards and in my last email I was reminiscing about my time in Sonoma, working in wine production before opening this shop. I have so many stories and memories up there. For brevity last time, I edited out a recollection of the first winemaker I worked for inviting me and two other harvest interns to join his family for a proper home-cooked meal after those first few back-breaking weeks. We gathered around the table and ate well and drank good wine and even coaxed him into playing some guitar for us, with his young son scurrying around in his pajamas, his daughter grinning at him in her high chair.
That kitchen table, that entire home in Santa Rosa, is now gone. As are countless others. Sky Vineyards fell victim to the fire too. This week has been surreal and devastating. A customer was in the other day lamenting that "our wells are dry". Talking about how we normally can get though the day-to-day until a personal or broader catastrophe hits home. Then we go to the well. But in this current political climate, the daily injustices, shootings, hurricanes, earthquakes... what is left in the well?
We always wanted OAKLAND YARD to be more than just a shop. We hoped it could be a place for people to truly connect. A warm and welcoming space. A place of joy. We want these simple (and, maybe at times, silly) correspondences to be joyful too. We really do. It's just been a lot to deal with everything these days.
But there is light, always. It's been inspiring watching the waves of folks outside all week, dropping off water and clothing and respirators and blankets. Our neighbors at 1-2-3-4 Go! Records volunteered to be a drop off point for donations early on and we joined their efforts. Thanks to our neighbors, ten truckloads have been safely delivered to evacuation sites as of today. We will be coordinating with other East Bay shops for a Fire Relief Fundraiser tasting event next weekend (October 21st), stay tuned for details...
In the meantime, we will continue to be a place to gather and connect. A community well. We are now offering CA wines by the glass EVERYDAY, with 100% of the proceeds going directly to fire relief and bringing aid to all those displaced. Every glass helps. Drop in and drink up.
We also have THURSDAY NIGHT FLIGHTS tonight, as always, White and Red Flights are all Italian lineups tonight.
Special SATURDAY CIDER TASTING. This will be a fun and unusual offering and something not to be missed. Flights from 2-5pm.
SUNDAY FLIGHTS: PINOT NOIR from around the world. We'll be pouring Flights from 12-6pm.
Know that we'll always be here for you. But right now you're needed here. To fill this well we call OAKLAND YARD. So stop in tonight or this weekend or when you can. Your neighbors need you.
See you soon,
ps. Additional ways to help: