My first seventeen years, I lived with my parents in Farmington, New York, in an old farmhouse on Allen-Padgham Road, named for the farmers who’d settled each end. My city-born parents embraced the rural life; they planted two large gardens and bought a few Swiss Toggenburg goats, named Zinnia, Zenith, and Zephyr. They made friends with the local farmers, and we’d drop by to say hello, find our friends in the barn or the field, and enjoy a lemonade or some peach cobbler in their old, country kitchen, with flies on the screen door, and dogs sprawled on the porch. I grew up with the near-constant smell of cow dung from the dairy farm next door, and always with fresh vegetables on the table. The goats are gone, but my parents still live there, as do many Allens and Padghams, up the road apiece.
Coming of age, I wanted nothing more than to get away from the sleepy countryside and to be in a big city - the bigger the better – so I went to New York. Farmington changed while I was away; there are McMansions where farms used to be, and the children of our farming friends have mostly turned to other work. I changed too and am less enamored with the urban life. I’ve begun growing vegetables on our roof-deck here on 40th Street and I’m surprised by the satisfaction and joy I’ve found in my hours of tending. In a sense, I feel like I’m returning to my roots, sharing the delight my mother’s always had in the magic of gardening, in making something out of nothing with a little work here and there.
Here in California, the light is changing, and many of our friends have begun to harvest their wine grapes. It’s an exciting time for the growers and winemakers, and we’re celebrating the harvest - and the approaching birthday of California itself on September 9th, in 1850 – with tasting flights of California wine. Come enjoy the bounty!
TONIGHT: Thursday Night Flights! FRENCH WHITES & ITALIAN REDS: New wines from the Loire, Beaujolais, Corsica, Piedmont, & Alto Adige. Flights $12 from 5-9 and wines by the glass until 9pm.
SATURDAY 9/7: Rhone-Style California Tasting: “When not in Rhone...” California wines made with Rhone grape varieties from Front Porch Farm, Cote West, Vinca Minor and Cary Q. Flights $15 from 2-6pm and wines by the glass until 9pm.
SUNDAY 9/8: CALIFORNIA ROSÉ: Taste four local, dry rosés from Matthiasson, Sky Vineyards, Phantômé Cellars and Nine North. Flights $15 from 2-6 and wines by the glass until 8pm.