Bumble Bees, Name Those Chicks and the Old Salts

Bumble Bees, Name Those Chicks and the Old Salts


6 minutes reading

Dear Friends,

I hope you have had a good week. As always, it was busy for me and busy at the winery. We are getting very close to the final lineup for Beyond Brooks 2021/2022 and are thrilled with the new partners we have lined up! I was introduced by a Wine Club Member to a very cool new technology that we are exploring. I can’t say much about it yet but hopefully soon! 

I am off to Oregon for the rest of the summer on Monday. I am looking forward to seeing the team and so many guests and friends. I am also looking forward to the sunshine. I hope you all are enjoying summer and a cold glass of vino.

I am excited to share with you some fun stories below. As always, please reach out should you need me for anything. [email protected] and cell: 831-238-4828.

Happy Sunday,


Exclusive 5 Case Opportunity

For as long as I can remember, Brooks has been a member of the Willamette Valley Winery Association (WVWA). Never was being a member more valuable than during COVID. The communication of the impact on our industry was succinct and timely through weekly meetings and emails. It provided so much clarity as a business owner. It was priceless and kept me sane.

Because of the great work by the WVWA, we are reciprocating the support by being involved in their 6th annual fundraiser: Willamette: The Pinot Noir Auction. Over 90 wineries produce 5 cases of a special wine that is not available to the public and it is auctioned at this event. The funds raised support the operating budget of the WVWA as well as provide proceeds to charity. Wine ots can be bid on virtually or in person! The event is August 5th.

I am excited to introduce you to our special auction lot. I could not be more proud of the wine and the creativity behind our lot that the production team came up with. 2019 Old Salt…..and then the story behind the name.

Carl Muska and DIck Crannell showcase the Brooks WWV Auction Wine

The 2019 Old Salt is named after the characters who farm these two sites in the Eola-Amity Hills—one, Carl Muska (on the left), a former sailboat racer in his day and the other, Dick Crannell (on the right), a multi-generational Eola Hills farmer who always has a wise word and a chuckle to offer. The Muska and Crannell vineyards lie just across Eola Hills Road from each other but have distinct personalities. One commonality, however, is the strong influence of the volcanic Nekia & Jory soils they’re planted in that bring forth a salty minerality we enjoy. This special blend highlights the distinct personalities of these vineyards and the old salts who farm them.

In order to get your hands on this wine, a person with a license to resell wine has to be the bidder. So if you are interested, send this link to the buyer at your favorite retail store, country club or restaurant. Gather friends who will all chip in. Interested in getting the wine but need my help to figure it out? Email me [email protected]

Help Us Name Our New Chicks

Heather, our Director of Wine Club Happiness, is also our Mother of Chickens. Early in the winter, she mail-ordered 8 baby chicks all certified to be females. Sadly, when they arrived, there were just two alive and shortly thereafter we lost one of the two. Heather didn’t want the one remaining to be lonely so she went to the local farm store and bought two more (fingers crossed they are females). Pictured above is the white one who made it through the mail. Pretty sure we are naming her Lucky. But we need help naming the two twin black and white ones. We are running a naming contest on Facebook and Instagram. The lucky winner gets a $100 Gift Card!

Bees + Birds + Water

Last week, I introduced you to Shannon who is doing a wonderful job taking care of our property. As I mentioned, from time to time, she will be contributing to these emails. This past week she added water features around the property to make sure the birds and the bees are getting enough water. She shares with you below how you can do this in your yard at home.

A bee sits upon a stone in a fountain

“The hum of bees is the voice of the garden.”

-Elizabeth Lawrence

Summer, unlike any other season, reminds me to appreciate the importance of water. I can be found daily in the garden in July walking around with hose lofted in hand watering plants. I was humbled and joyed by the importance of water the other morning. While I was setting up the irrigation for a vegetable bed one of the drip lines sprung a leak, greeting me with a rush of water. Before I could make any repairs a hummingbird playfully spun in and out of the water seemingly dancing before my eyes.

A realization dawned on me. I had become so focused on the needs of the plants that I had overlooked the needs of the wildlife that greet me each morning. This has spurred the recent addition of birdbaths scattered around the Brooks garden. Both birds and bees use these water sources and they can be readily added to any sized garden in your home as well. Each morning is a treasure here in the garden with these water sources as sparrows now jostle in the baths and bees daintily sip water along the edges.

If you’re interested in making your birdbath accessible to bees you will need to mitigate any chance of drowning. For deeper waters adding perches that either float in the water or rise above it are key. Examples include sticks, rocks, or even corks from your leftover bottles of Brooks wine. Bees use the water not only for drinking but for cooling their hives, feeding developing larvae, and diluting honey. 

Garden spaces serve as important ecological spaces for wildlife. A garden silent, without the voices of birds and bees, is missing the astral forces important in biodynamics. Simply adding water features has opened up my eyes to the dynamic relationships between the wildlife in the garden here at Brooks.