Long Meadow Ranch
Napa Valley AVA
Excellence through responcible farming
Ted Hall’s evolution into the wine business began when he was a youngster on his family’s farm in Beaver County, Pennsylvania. His mother was a practicing organic agronomist as early as the 1940’s, at a time when few in our country even knew the meaning of an organic approach to growing.
Ted matriculated from Princeton where he majored in electrical engineering to graduate study at Stanford where he garnered a degree in business. At Stanford, one of his projects involved making a small financial case for establishing a working winery.
“I have always been a farmer at heart,” Hall stated recently. “And, I have always been interested in the making and selling of wine.”
From 1971 to 1986, Hall partook of a secondary avocation to his numerous business ventures. He made amateur wines, first in a garage and later in a semi-commercial facility located in Sonoma County. He felt that some of the wines weren’t so great, but a large number seemed to be well-received by his friends and acquaintances and were rewarded by numerous awards and honors in competitions.
In 1989, Hall acquired a remarkable piece of property located high on a Mayacamas Mountains ridge that serves as Napa Valley’s western boundary. The land was part of an 1872 land grant and had been used for a variety of agricultural purposes since its inception. When Hall acquired the property, he found it mostly overgrown and in a state of unused.
“We believe it was abandoned around the time of prohibition,” he added, “but the land itself was perfectly suited to our vision of being able to one day grow and produce an elegant, fruit-oriented wine that was organic in its origin.”
Long Meadow Ranch’s first release came in 1999, slightly more than 900 cases, that was immediately hailed by the wine press and was extremely successful in open wine competitions. Long Meadow Ranch has grown in the succeeding years and today tallies out at around 7,000 cases. A further increase to around 10,000 is possible informed Hall, but over a period of the next few years.
From the original 115 acres, today’s Long Meadow Ranch (Yes, there really is an exquisite long, rolling meadow on the property) compromises some 650 acres and has numerous usages. To Hall’s surprise and pleasure, he also found on the property an abandoned overgrown olive grove that comprised more than 1000 olive trees. Local speculation says the trees were abandoned in the 1920’s. He quickly refurbished the olive groves and began producing some extraordinary olive oil to compliment his fledgling wine business.
“The two businesses (wine and olive oil) are quite complementary,” opinioned Hall. “In 1994, we decided to go into the olive oil business as well as the wine business. We can most certainly utilize our field equipment and also share a small amount of our stainless steel capacity. It also seems very attractive to stores and restaurants who feel they can utilize both our wine and olive oil at the same time.”
A Note from Ted Hall
Dear Platinum Series Members,
Our family arrived at Long Meadow Ranch nearly twenty years ago to fulfill my vision: to make elegant, balanced wines which truly complement food from mountain-grown fruit while using only sustainable, organic farming methods.
From my first wines made more than 35 years ago - with pointers from the winemakers at mountain fruit specialists Ridge and David Bruce – I knew that elegant wines could be made using fruit grown where the sunshine was long – above the fog – and the nights cool. In these conditions, grapes ripen fully without the need for the long hang times and resulting high sugars that seem to predominate among wines today.
The 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon fulfills my dream. The wine has deep garnet color with beautiful purple edges and the nose carries bordelaise characteristics with tea, tobacco, cedar, and ripe black fruit. On the palate there are powerful tannins giving a rich full-bodied mouth feel including briar patch and dried black tea. Yet, it finishes smoothly with a complex earthiness and a long lingering finish. Try it with grass-fed Highland beef, with lamb, or with roasted game.