A winemaker’s tribute to his groundskeeper of 27 years
|Aerial view of Wayfarer Vineyard on a Sonoma mountainside|
|Sarah's cabin in spring|
Recently I received a call from Jayson Pahlmeyer, premium winemaker and owner of the Wayfarer Vineyard where my sister lived and worked for 27 years. It plunged me back into a deep well of memories. Again I saw the spectacular mountain panoramas from her porch, smelled the cedar, bay, rosemary, pine, and lemon thyme on the air, watched jack rabbits leap and hawks soar. But by now the feeling is more joy than grief.
Jayson’s call was a request for pictures from Sis’s long tenure there. He owns many other vinyards, mostly in the Napa Valley, but this fall, for the first time, he will be bottling wine from Sarah’s Sonoma home under the Wayfarer label. And one particular blend will be called “Sarah’s Garden.”
Of course, being blown away by this magnificent gesture honoring my adored big sis, I happily spent the next few days sorting through box after box of photos – most of them brought back from her cabin.
I dearly miss her earthy wisdom and spiritual understanding; her courage in the face of cancer. It is so gratifying to have Sarah recognized in such a meaningful and appropriate way.
For over a year after the malignancy was discovered, Sarah doggedly remained on her beloved mountain and on the job. She died January 4, 2013 in Santa Rosa shortly after surgery. And I’m so grateful I was there.