Nestled between two creeks and a towering redwood grove, the historic vineyards at Husch are nearing 50 years of growth.
The vineyard was first planted in 1968 with a selection of Chardonnay and Gewurztraminer. These cool climate choices were a safe bet for the chilly Anderson Valley. Earlier attempts in the region to grow Zinfandel, Cabernet, and Uni Blanc had failed for lack of summer heat. Husch also planted Pinot Noir, but that came a few years later and that is a story of its own.
Many of the original vines from those first plantings continue to bear fruit today. Rather that "rip and replace" entire fields, our family business has adopted a strategy of replacing only the vines that have died over time. This preserves the heritage vines and leaves us with a mixed-age vineyard which leads to wines with complexity and history.
Try our Pinot Noir or Chenin Blanc and see if you agree.
We know Spring has arrived when our estate Geese announce the goslings. Proud parents “Francois” and “Eloise” have been parenting at Husch since 2015. This year’s gaggle includes five little ones, who enjoy pecking the bugs from under the historic grapevines and lounging in the pond. We like to think these family-focused geese choose Husch because of its own family roots.
This year the pond is turning into a day-care center. A second couple arrived and soon we had another family competing for pond space and attention from the vineyard crew. Has word about the 'easy life' by the pond gotten out somehow?
Do geese make good wine? The answer may be yes, although in an indirect fashion. Husch farms with some old-school techniques and we think the natural balance in the vineyard makes for better grapes in the long term. So sheep, rabbits, geese, and owls are a normal part of vineyard life. We once put up an infrared game camera to check out the night activity and we learned foxes, coyotes, and possums add to the mix.
Our geese leave by early summer, adults and young ones as well. By then the pond is getting low and the long days of the northern summer call to our migratory friends. But we have learned that Francois and Eloise will be back next winter to continue their family tradition.