Frey Vineyards is well known as the first organic winery in the country. However, we’re also the first biodynamic winery in the country. In addition to turning organic grapes into wine, biodynamic practices foster a holistic approach to farming that cares for the land. Over the years we have maintained healthy herds of cows, sheep, and goats on the home winery property. These animals graze in the vineyards, providing essential nutrients for the soil while dining on the cover crops we plant between the rows of grapes. Animal manures create vital compost which we then use to nourish our home gardens.
In 2017, wildfires changed so much for the community of Redwood Valley where our winery is located. We lost most of our homes on the ranch, and it has taken a few years and a lot of resilience to see us through to where we are now. This year several families have moved back to the land in new homes that have been built. As we are returning to our new/old places, we’re beginning to set down roots once more. Earlier this Spring I had the extreme pleasure of taking in a herd of goats. I walked the goats through the vineyards for the last few months before the grapes began to bud out. For almost dozen years before the fire, I tended to goats here at Frey vineyards. And, now I’m revisiting my former life full circle. The goats have given birth and we have three kids leaping about! Eventually the mamas will head back to their home, but the babies mark a beginning for a new herd of goat husbandry and midwifery at Frey Vineyards. They go on walks in the wildlands, helping maintain trails during the summer months. As soon as crush begins in the Fall, we’ll be back in the vineyards to clean up the grapes left behind.
Additionally, I had a friend from the coast reach out about taking in a few goats as her herd has expanded rapidly. Her goats have been dedicated “mowers” and we’re excited to put them to good use helping to repair the ecosystem. They come from a firefighting family and are ready to be part of the fire prevention crew, munching their way through areas needing clearing. In general goats tend to be very happy eating a diverse forage. They like to eat a little of this and a little of that. However, some goats can be trained to graze down an area, and these goats have previous experience taking down a fenced area. Using goats to assist in the maintenance of fire breaks is a strategy that is currently being implemented across the globe!
All in all, we have eight goats on the farm right now. They’re a mix of different dairy breeds, and they have very particular personalities. I’m learning the ropes with a new group of individuals. And they’re getting to meet our local flora and fauna. They’re quite fond of eating the invasive blackberries. I’m in the process of trying to remove broom from the home ranch, which has taken a strong hold since the fires. I’m hoping that the goats will be able to assist with my project of rehabilitating the wild by forging paths so that I can remove the broom. The hope is that the native species will be able to move back in once this invasive plant has been subdued.
This sweet and spicy noodle dish is Thai inspired. It’s light and fresh and pairs nicely with Frey Organic Pinot Grigio.
o 16oz wide rice noodles or regular linguini pasta
o 4 chicken thighs, diced (optional)
o 3 tablespoons soy sauce
o 3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
o 4 tablespoons honey
o 2 tablespoons chili garlic sauce
o 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes to taste
o ¼ cup sesame oil
o 2 cups shredded carrots, about 2 large carrots
o ¼ cup sliced green onion
o 1 cup roasted, salted peanuts
o ½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1. In a large sauté pan heat about 1 tablespoon oil and cook chicken thighs until golden, then set aside. (To make vegetarian you can omit from recipe.)
2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook noodles until al dente, approximately 6 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, shred carrots, chop green onions and cilantro
4. In a small bowl mix soy sauce, hoisin, honey, chili garlic paste, garlic, and red pepper flakes.
5. A couple of minutes before the noodles are done, in the large sauté pan, heat sesame oil over medium heat and add sauce and stir, and cook the garlic.
6. When noodles are done, drain, then add immediately to pan with sauce, add chicken, and stir until the noodles are well coated.
7. Top with carrots, peanuts, cilantro, green onion. Mix and serve with a chilled glass of our organic Pinot Grigio. Enjoy!
We always try to use organic ingredients when possible.
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