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Sunday, August 1, 2010

Stanly Ranch – Part 3

When it comes to the Stanly Ranch I come across several winery names of modern day Napa Valley including Starmont, Merryvale, and Martini. So I ask you here, should I do some advertising for these wineries or just mention them in passing. The reader may be dying to know which winery moved Judge Stanly’s house. I will leave that for a later post. Needless to say, I’ve been to their tasting room in St. Helena to use their restroom….more than once. I had no idea either time that they owned any part of the Stanly property. I have yet to taste their wine.  Maybe next time when I make a pit stop in St. Helena, I will try some vino too.

Wine was made on the Stanly Ranch years before several of the modern day wineries were even in Napa, California. I won’t bore you with the history of winemaking in the Napa Valley. Volumes have been written on that subject. I’d like to try and get this back to Stanly and my Flanagan’s.

I’ve seen Judge John A. Stanly indicated as an “agricultural pioneer” and one of the first to plant vineyards in the valley around 1872. I am very interested in finding out who helped him with his vineyards. Whose idea was this anyway? Was it the judge’s idea, his son’s, a neighbor, or someone that he hired? I have not been able to track down this information but he obviously got the farming bug from someone….someone with experience, knowledge, foresight, and a little luck.

I have no idea if my Flanagan’s had any influence in this area....Or maybe I do.  There are those letters and some book articles about "Mr. Flanagan". He was a farmer for sure, intelligent and educated, had lived in Australia and New Zealand, and knew how to run a diary farm since he grew up on one in Ireland. Ok, so a diary farm is a far cry from a vineyard but I wonder. I am hoping someone out there knows the whole story or at least most of it.

To be continued………………

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