Epoch Update: York Mountain
York Mountain Update During Shelter-in-Place
As you may have guessed, things are pretty quiet up on York Mountain right now. Well, quieter than usual. Sans the cheerful hustle and bustle of the busy Tasting Room during business hours, the cats are still playing, the horses are still enjoying sweet green grass after all of this rain, and the beautiful ocean fog still rolls in morning and night to greet and bid farewell to every passing day.
Since we do have the furry members of Team Epoch to care for, there is still some staff activity on the Mountain every day. Annie and Abbey, our awesome barn crew, have been on the Mountain (with at least 6 feet between them at all times, of course) playing with the kitties, grooming the horses, and tending to our garden that we are bringing back to life with all this extra time we’ve suddenly been given.
Epoch’s Furry Friends
Corky & Levi
Many of you are familiar with Corky and Levi, our sweet and sometimes ferocious barn/tasting room kitties. Rest assured, they are still getting plenty of human interaction. Between food and treats from Annie and Abbey, Lisa, one of our Tasting Room Educators and a self-proclaimed (sometimes) crazy cat lady, lives on York Mountain and has been paying them visits with more snacks and plentiful pets. Now that the sun’s coming back out, keep an eye out for photos of Corky and Levi basking on our patio furniture or playing on the Plinth together.
Jake & Willis
Besides our wines, another one of Epoch’s most well-known attributes is our Percheron horses, Jake and Willis! These guys actually LOVE when it rains because that brings an abundance of green grass and mud to roll in, much to Annie’s delight when it’s grooming time. Since it’s been raining so much here, they are enjoying a fairly lazy schedule. They start their day with grain in the morning followed by a nice long brushing from Annie and Abbey. Then they graze the afternoon away. Now that things are drying up, Annie will start line driving them again (see video)! Fun fact, Jake and Willis are trained to wear the full-blown harnesses and pull a wagon or buggy together. Line driving is similar, except a person is walking behind the horses steering them, instead of them pulling something with wheels. It’s great practice and exercise for them!
Our little York Mountain garden is due for a makeover. Currently, it’s home to our small vine nursery that we planted last year with leftover rootstock. We are now working on replanting these vine babies into permanent, above-ground beds. In addition to caring for our vine nursery, we are also going to try our hand at a vegetable garden! For now, we are thinking about corn, carrots, garlic, artichokes, herbs, and flowers. Team Epoch looks forward to reaping the benefits of our garden harvests this fall. Our flowers will appear in the tasting room as well as large arrangements for future events.
Epoch Biodynamic Updates
Sheep & Goats
We have also shared a bit about our herd of goats and sheep, affectionally dubbed our holistic lawnmowers. They’re still mowin’! Currently, this cute crew is out on our Paderewski Vineyard, making quick work of clearing brush and grasses in open areas around blocks of vines. Annie and Abbey stay busy with them – checking on them every day, feeding their guard dog, Angel, a Great Pyrenees, and almost constantly moving their fencing to keep the supply of untouched grass abundant.
In other news, we now have Epoch bees! We decided to venture into the world of hives and honey to achieve more biodiversity and to help pollinate the apple trees; we are hoping for a great apple harvest going forward! Producing our own Epoch honey and helping increase the local bee population is just an added benefit. According to Annie, the bees are adorable and warming up to their new home in the Epoch apple orchard. As you watch the video, you will notice that they are all gathered around a big yellow thing; that’s a pollen Patty which they eat and feed to larvae until it’s warm enough to venture out and collect pollen. The plastic piece they are climbing into has sugar syrup inside to give them energy and a food source while they build wax combs and make honey. Annie did successfully find the queen, and apparently she looks healthy and busy as can be (or bee Ü). The Epoch bees are of the Italian honey bee breed, which is one of the calmest subspecies of bees. Since we got them, the bee population has doubled in size and is growing like crazy! They have also started making some honey. They are doing great, enjoying this amazing weather, and pollinating all the flowers and trees. We are on track for some Epoch honey this summer! 🍯🐝
That’s our current state of the union on York Mountain! Everyone is doing well. If you have any questions about anyone or anything, please ask us! We wish you could come out, pet the kitties, and take in the views NOW, but we know that eventually, this will be possible again. Thank you for reading! Be well, and drink Epoch!