Before the first grapes were planted, my eldest son, Shale, then 11, and I stood quietly one morning at the crest of our property, enjoying the view of the fog laden Chehalem Valley. He had climbed atop an old fallen oak tree for better vantage. As I watched his face take in the splendor of the view, a bobcat emerged behind him from the end of the log on which he perched. I gestured to my son to be quiet and turn around ever so slowly. Understanding my signals, he rotated imperceptibly until he and the bobcat stared at each other, no more than 15 feet apart. Neither feared the other, nor meant the other any harm. The cat, normally shy and reclusive seemed curious about the duo with whom he now silently shared his hilltop. It watched for 10 seconds more, then bounded soundlessly into the woods. My son and I both exhaled, grinning in some unspoken triumph. This place would one day be our home.
That son, now in his late-20’s, is building his own successful engineering business. The bobcat’s offspring still lives somewhere on or near our property. I see both son and cats occasionally, usually in the vineyard. When everything is said and done, growing great grapes, making fine wines, and living in natural splendor, it all comes down to location. The proper mix of soils, sun, elevation and rainfall make for a good flora site. Privacy, views, natural surroundings, sunrises, sunsets and wildlife make for a good Flora site. We were fortunate to find one such place, and would be delighted to share it with you.