Ancient People travelled from all across the continent to the Gorge in the Licking River where a huge rock known as The Black Hand loomed out over the river.  This huge stone signified the the boundary beyond which war and tribal enmity must be shed for truce conditions, because an incredible gift lay five miles south, the purest flint in the western hemisphere.  This flint was the property of None, and Everyone.  Some folks think the Newark Earthworks signifies the importance of this to an ancient culture.

Spears were laid aside for spades, and enemies at truce climbed to the top of the ridge where they mined flint in small pits still visible today. This material was so valuable they traded it all over the Continent. 

Here is a timeline of events which affected our Place, how it was settled, how it has become what It Is.  I cannot be too strong in recommending Alan Eckert's Narrative Histories, The Frontiersman, The Dark and Bloody River. and Tecumseh to flesh out what I only list below in outline...


a short history of our special place .  .  .

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Today, the soil of the Flint Ridge continues to give her gifts to those who will have them, and who will engage her with the skills to receive them from her.  Our vineyard is located on the northeast edge of the ridge, on a south facing slope.  The hill falls from a height of 1,010 feet to 900 feet, and air drains to Dillon Reservoir, a half mile away, lying at an average pool height of 734 feet.  Our soils are a mixture of gravel, clay loam and clay - even pottery grade - 4 to 6 feet deep over a shale foundation, having been pushed into foothills of the Appalachains by the Wisconsin Glacier.  Weather is always different from year to year; we are at the boundary of weather systems coming from the northwest, the Gulf of Mexico - we are the point of confluence!

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We grow 15 varieties of grapes.  Our  goal is to craft them into distinctive wines which express our spirit and the spirit of our place.  This goal grows out of our vocations as craftspeople in various fields, and in our obsession to shape our household, our vineyard and winery, into a place of reflection and refreshment.   In many older cultures the built environment has almost become a part of nature, as people have paused to consider what improvements are necessary, and after completion, have stepped back to reconsider, and to evaluate which improvements are appropriate.This design refinement takes place over centuries of construction, repair, maintenance, addition.  We are engaged here in this kind of work, and only hope that our stewardship of this place is such that our efforts become as natural to the landscape as a tree.

 

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Chesterton says that the most awesome mystery is 'existence'.  Why do we exist?  Why are we human beings and not rocks?  How often do we slow down and really think about this and what it means?  Who do we thank for the indescribable gift of existence?

When we're enjoying each other's company over wine and food, these questions often occur to us.  How is it that we share this miracle, this wine, today? 

We have much to be thankful for, and much to be in awe of, gifted as we are. 

Carl Jahnes
September, 2002

 

 

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