Yesterday I drove over the Golden Gate Bridge and up 101 to the historic Felta School in a wooded area of Healdsburg. This was the rendezvous point to meet my collectors for the first time and Benovia’s vineyard manager, Chris Kangas. I arrived early. I did not want to keep them waiting in the blistering heat. While I waited I pulled out my iPad and learned about the Felta School Foundation. The Felta Foundation was established to “encourage critical and creative thinking, and to strengthen each student's power of imagination.” I found this heartening, as standard public school curriculums have basically eliminated the arts only to focus on linear thinking and memorization. I used to feel bad that I never mastered advanced mathematics or science. It sometimes left me feeling inadequate. But now I think, how many mathematicians or scientists feel bad because they haven't mastered fine art? The Felta Foundation emphasizes “hands-on experiences and cultural awareness." Ironically that's in part why my collectors engaged me and that is what we were about to embark on. They arrived on time with their sleeping young daughter, limp in the back of the car. We greeted each other and then wound up the hill towards Benovia’s historic Cohn Vineyard. After climbing up the winding road a beautiful mountaintop site was revealed, incredible vistas of the Russian River Valley framed by redwood forests. Planted in 1970, this is one of the oldest Pinot Noir vineyards in California. Through the heat we toured the vineyards and Chris taught us about the soil, the grapes, the facets of the landscape that you can't experience in pictures or in a classroom. You just have to be there.
- A Hand's On First Experience of Benovia's Cohn Vineyard
- Benovia, Benovia Winery, Felta School, Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley