Al Marsh

Crazy time in Napa

September 27, 2009 by Alton K. Marsh, Senior Editor, AOPA Pilot

If you’re a tourist in Napa Valley now, harvest time, you’re paying $300 to $500 a night, if you can find a room, and sipping wine in tasting rooms. If you are very lucky, you are getting to watch the wine production and may even receive an exclusive invitation to a five-star meal in a wine storage cave. If you are a winemaker like Ehren Jordan of Failla (Fay la) Wines and Turley Wine Cellars, you are going crazy. Jordan is constantly in motion, supervising the harvesting, crushing, and storage of this year’s wine crop. His Cessna 340 is much like his pickup truck–a tool to reach Turley’s second vineyard 200 nm away. He flies there two to three days a week at this time of year. Since he was always in motion last week, so were AOPA Pilot Chief Photographer Mike Fizer and myself, trying to trap him in a corner long enough to gather material for a story on the importance of his aircraft to wine production. It didn’t work, and it soon dawned on me that “Chasing Ehren” is the story, and title (or maybe “Crazy Time in Napa”?), for a future issue of AOPA Pilot. Watch for it. (By the way, I played, in my exaggerated opinion, what I consider to be a crucial role in the production of the 2009 Failla Wines “Pearl Essence” chardonnay. I picked out stems, bugs, leaves, anything that didn’t belong there.) It will be out in 2010.


One Response to “Crazy time in Napa”

  1. Maria Says:

    As a native of Napa I enjoyed your article on Mr. Jordan. You effectively captured the chaos of “crush” while illustrating the importance of GA for local business. And Mike Fizer did a wonderful job of capturing the beautiful essence of the valley!

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