Terroir de Lynmar
The original 35 acres of what is now Lynmar Estate were bought in 1980, as a busy San Francisco executive with a global business sought a retreat. Included on the parcel were Pinot Noir Swan clones on St George Root stock. In those days, Pinot Noir, was not the celebrated grape it is today, but these vines loved where they were and despite dry farming, or perhaps because of it, produced sought after grapes sold to the likes of Merry Edwards and Tony Soter. Over the next few decades, Lynn bought the adjoining parcels as they became available, the most recent acquisition being the 18 acre parcel that belonged to Don and Diane Bliss. Their residence, became the Bliss guest house and one of their organic vineyards now produces our always sold out Bliss Block Pinot Noir.
One of our favorite daily rituals as a family is walking the vineyard with our dogs through the vines, up and down the undulating land, feeling the Sebastopol sandy loam soil under our feet, dry and crunchy in the summer and squishy and gooey in the winter rain. Although we start out together, the dogs rush ahead, confident of the route we will take. Our son bends down to look at the slugs and earthworms and Lynn’s pace slows as he examines the vines, in one block and then the next.
At the base of the Summit, the group gathers again for the highlight of our walk the hike to the highest point of the property. The unspoken reverence for this place is palpable in the spontaneous moment silence as we come to the top, before Adam rushes off to the makeshift swing hanging from the tall, old oak. There is a broad clearing, red clay earth, surrounded by redwoods and breathtaking views in almost every direction. Here bald eagles have nested for several years and allowed us to witness the flying lessons they gave their babies. Here, my husband proposed to me with Roger Glen, playing “you fill up my senses” on his flute in the background. Here, our family planted a tree to celebrate my fathers 75th birthday. Here, we have had gatherings of humanitarians from around the world, as contemplation comes easier. Here, several scenes and the movie poster from the Japanese version of Sideways were shot. Local lore has it that this was sacred ground for the Pomo Indians when bears roamed the surrounding wild land. It is here that I come in my mind, to shut off its chatter. It is the red earth on this spot that inspired us to name our son Adam. Here, I hear the earth speak to my soul, and I wonder if it is the same voice that nurtures the vines. Here, it is clear that we are here for a nanosecond while the terroir will endure.
This year, in August, we will share this family ritual and the Summit with the wine club for another perspective on terroir de Lynmar.