Long Meadow Ranch is a pioneer in the concept of full circle farming. This notion plays a vital role in every aspect of their enterprise. This family-owned agricultural estate grows grapes, olives, fruits, and vegetables produces wine and olive oil as well as raises cattle, sheep, and chickens. Combining organic and sustainable practices to achieve an integrated farming system that relies upon and compliments each part of the family’s ranch, thereby contributing to the entire operation. It is a holistic approach to farming.
Ted and Laddie Hall met in the 1960s and were married in 1971. Ted went to Princeton followed by business school at Stanford. After obtaining his MBA, he worked at the management consulting firm, McKinsey & Company. It was his tenure at Stanford that brought him to the Bay area where he discovered wine. Most of Ted’s career endeavors involved food in some shape or form.
These ventures led the Hall’s to establish their vineyards in 1989 and their first vintage in 1994. Today the estate consists of four wine estates, the Mayacamas Estate, where the Halls live, the Rutherford Estate in Napa Valley, and the Anderson Valley Estate in Mendocino. The Hall’s most recent acquisition, the vineyards of Stony Hill in Napa Valley’s Spring Mountain District. In addition, Long Meadow Ranch operates a general store, a wine tasting bar, an outdoor café, a farmer’s market, and a farm-to-table restaurant, which are located at the Farmstead at Long Meadow Ranch. All these enterprises contribute to the notion of full circle farming.
Now in their second generation, the Hall’s son Chris plays an integral role in the agricultural aspect of the estate, especially the Farmstead.
Long Meadow Ranch Winemaker
Besides being a front runner in the holistic approach to farming, the Hall’s were ahead of their time when they brought in a woman winemaker. Cathy Corison served as winemaker from 1993 to 2003. Her legacy still lives on as they often refer to the Cathy factor in describing her imprint on the Long Meadow Ranch Wines. This impact continues today as they consistently maintain lower alcohol levels, thus producing a restrained wine.
Today Stéphane Vivier is the winemaker for Long Meadow Ranch’s Anderson Valley Estate and their newly acquired Stony Hill Vineyard in Napa. Stéphane’s French background with a bent on old-world traditions lends itself to the Hall’s wine philosophy and mission for the wines they produce. Justin Carr heads the winemaking team for the Rutherford and Mayacamas Estates.
Full Circle Farming
Currently, Long Meadow Ranch has 150 plus acres planted with vineyards between Napa and the Anderson Valley. In Napa, they grew Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Sangiovese, and Sauvignon Blanc. In the Anderson Valley, it is Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, and Pinot Noir. The ranch and vineyards are certified organic by the California Certified Organic Farmers. Farming practices are both organic and sustainable.
Long Meadow Ranch is also Napa Green Certified, but it is the Long Meadow Ranch motto, “Excellence through Responsible Farming” that carries through all their ventures. This sentiment ties together their philosophy of integrated farming, sustainable practices, and all components, thereby facilitating them to complement each other.
Long Meadow Ranch Sauvignon Blanc
For Long Meadow Ranch, the Sauvignon Blanc is considered their best-selling wine. After tasting, you will discover the wine is fresh, rounded, and fruity. I found the balance and elegance very inviting.
Long Meadow Ranch Rosé of Pinot Noir
Created in a Provencal style, this Rosé exhibits aromas of stone fruit and citrus. On the palate, flavors of citrus and peach are accented by lively notes of spice. The Rosé is clean and elegant.
Long Meadow Ranch Pinot Noir
This wine exemplifies what makes Pinot Noir great in the Anderson Valley. Because of its location near the redwood forests, I found woodsy flavors. On the nose, earth qualities permeate accented by spicy aromas. The wine is lively with the perfect amount of fruit.
Long Meadow Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon
I found a very drinkable and balanced Cabernet Sauvignon. The wine is very classical in its more old-world approach. The Cabernet has just the right amount of fruit and acidity without being fruit-forward or too high in tannins
Sampling the wines validated the Hall’s motto and consistency in terms of alcohol levels, and the restrained approach to winemaking as well as the concepts of full circle farming pays off over the longevity of the winery and the wine itself.
Note: Common to the wine industry, this writer received hosted wine samples. While it has not influenced this review, the writer believes in full disclosure.