Podcast Episode #65 – Dreams Decanted: Susan and Daniel’s Journey to Lonesome Rock

Lonesome Rock

In this heartwarming episode of the Weinnotes Podcast, we uncork the story of Susan and Daniel, the visionary couple behind Lonesome Rock, who turned their youthful dreams into a flourishing reality in the heart of Oregon’s wine country. Decades ago, amidst the poetry and romance of French dramas, a seed was planted in their hearts—a dream of crafting wines that would one day tell their story.

Let’s dive into Lonesome Rock’s story!

Fast forward through years of adventure, learning, and life’s inevitable ups and downs, Susan and Daniel have woven their experiences, from the vineyards of France to the trials and triumphs of raising a family, into the very fabric of Lonesome Rock. Now, as their children step into their own paths, Susan and Daniel find themselves at the dawn of realizing their long-cherished dream.

With each bottle of wine, they capture the essence of their journey—a blend of resilience, passion, and a deep connection to the land. This episode takes you behind the vines, offering a sip of the challenges they’ve faced, the milestones they’ve celebrated, and the unwavering belief that has guided them through it all.

Join us as Susan and Daniel share their inspiring story, from the initial spark of inspiration in their twenties to the fulfillment of their winemaking dream. It’s a tale of love, legacy, and the beautiful realization that it’s never too late to pursue your passion. Pour yourself a glass and settle in for a conversation that celebrates the journey of dreams decanted, one vintage at a time.

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Transcription of interview with Susan and Daniel of Lonesome Rock in Oregon’s Wine Country

[00:00:00] Danny of Lonesome Rock: Cheers to

[00:00:05] A.J. Weinzettel: another episode of the Wine Notes podcast. I’m your guide, AJ Winesuttle, on this journey of stories, showcasing the people behind the wonderful world of wine, where we dive into conversations ranging from terroir, viticulture, to favorite music, superpowers, and more. Please enjoy this episode of the Wine Notes podcast.

Daniel, Susan, thank you so much for taking the time today to be on the podcast. I really appreciate it.

[00:00:29] Danny of Lonesome Rock: Thanks for coming. Yeah, glad you’re here.

[00:00:31] A.J. Weinzettel: Yeah, I’m surprised. Yeah, nice to see you. I’m surprised we got some sun out here today. Finally.

[00:00:36] Susan of Lonesome Rock: Yes. Last time you’re here, it was pouring rain, was pouring all morning.

[00:00:41] Danny of Lonesome Rock: It was. We didn’t think we’d be able to do this, but the second any nice weather comes, we’re

[00:00:47] A.J. Weinzettel: That’s what, that’s what we have to do. I mean, geez, we just, we got to get outside. Uh, should I pour us a little bit of a blind wine to kind of start things off?

[00:00:56] Danny of Lonesome Rock: Okay. Why not start by embarrassing ourselves right away?

[00:01:01] A.J. Weinzettel: Well, you can say whatever you want to about it. You can say it’s yummy. You can say it’s good. Or if you want to take a deep dive, that’s up to you as well.

[00:01:07] Danny of Lonesome Rock: I heard a funny thing about wine tasting that I feel is very much me. I haven’t made a mistake. In a blind tasting wine Right. Since the last time I did it.

[00:01:19] A.J. Weinzettel: That’s amazing. You know, I haven’t made any mistakes like that either. Um, actually on Saturday I was downtown and they were doing, um, like, um, a Syrah, um, ta, Oregon rah tasting. And then they had a mystery wine at the end and, you know, it kind of followed the appropriate theme and it was blind and I was totally humbled as I am always humbled by a blind wine.

So let me hand this to you and again, say whatever you want to. You’re

[00:01:54] Danny of Lonesome Rock: welcome. Thank you. And so was it, did it end up?

[00:01:59] A.J. Weinzettel: Yeah, it was, uh, um, a coat, the Rome, uh, Sarah, and you know, obviously it wasn’t Oregon. And it was just, it’s fascinating to just dive deep into the unknown. Sure. Yeah. Um, so normally with blind wines, I try to find some sort of connection to who I’m interviewing.

I don’t know if there’s a connection here or not, but we’ll, we’ll see. Sometimes I do pretty good. Sometimes I don’t do so good. Well, it’s definitely a sparkling

[00:02:34] Susan of Lonesome Rock: rosé.

[00:02:40] Danny of Lonesome Rock: Yes.

[00:02:41] A.J. Weinzettel: Cheers. Thank you. Thank you so much.

[00:02:50] Danny of Lonesome Rock: Pleasant. Yes. Lovely. Well,

[00:02:53] A.J. Weinzettel: good. I’m glad you like, um, when I was out here last May, what just completely, uh, stands out to me in my mind is the level of enthusiasm that you have about wine. I mean, you’ve been in the wine world forever. And this isn’t a derogatory statement, but you’re, you’re almost like a giddy little kid in a toy store.

And I love that excitement.

[00:03:22] Danny of Lonesome Rock: Yeah. Um, that’s the thing it’s, I wish I could say that it’s new because we’re here now, but it’s really been like that our whole lives.

[00:03:34] A.J. Weinzettel: Yeah. Right. I can, I can only imagine. It’s

[00:03:38] Danny of Lonesome Rock: just

[00:03:39] Susan of Lonesome Rock: interesting. Every day is a new adventure with this one.

[00:03:43] Danny of Lonesome Rock: Right.

[00:03:45] A.J. Weinzettel: Yeah. And it should be. I mean, life is so full of, of adventure and possibilities and there’s so much to learn like, yeah, just, I, I adore that.

So thank you for that.

[00:03:59] Danny of Lonesome Rock: Yeah. I mean, think, think of all the subjects that we get to cover when we’re talking about wine, whether it be history or commerce, science, winemaking, art. The label design is like major, exciting, crazy up and down story for us too. I mean, all of these things are, all these subjects can provide you with.

Uh, many lifetimes of things to learn about and study, all of which are fascinating, so.

[00:04:34] A.J. Weinzettel: They are. And the, the story for the both of you started off in, um, in South Florida with French drama and poetry. Like, how did that, like, what, what, what was that influence for the both of you at such a young age?

[00:04:49] Susan of Lonesome Rock: I’ll start by answering this.

I was a French major. I had gone to France, um, my sophomore year. I stayed in Paris for three months and I just became completely enamored with everything French. So then I was on a quest. I wanted to become a French teacher. I wanted to move to France for a while. And, um, part of that quest, I was in French drama and poetry.

Um, so the first day of class. Danny walks in and we’re at, it’s a small class, there weren’t a lot of people interested in this topic, I guess. And there were maybe 12 people around a table, all of which were female, except Danny. He comes in and he had had a water skiing accident that morning and had a band aid across his head.

And he had been in France. studying abroad. And that’s why he was also in French drama and poetry. So we came together and that’s how we met.

[00:05:50] Danny of Lonesome Rock: That’s awesome. There was only one seat available left because I was a minute or two late. Um, and it was next to Susan.

[00:06:01] Susan of Lonesome Rock: And so, I mean, he was in his early twenties and he already had a love of wine at that time.

So our entire relationship together, wine has been a part, even at that young age, because he was working at a, um, a French restaurant in Florida. And he was hanging out with a lot of older French men who were all into Bordeaux and

[00:06:27] Danny of Lonesome Rock: teaching him. Yep. Yep.

[00:06:31] A.J. Weinzettel: So teaching all the things that’s fun.

[00:06:35] Danny of Lonesome Rock: Plus I ended up.

When I was junior year abroad before this class, I, uh, got invited to go to a wine tasting and, uh, a friend called and said, what are you doing this weekend? I said, I don’t know. Let’s do something. And they said, let’s go to a wine tasting in Bonn. So I ended up at the Auspice de Bonn auction.

[00:06:54] A.J. Weinzettel: I was getting ready to ask you how in the heck did that accidentally happen?


[00:06:58] Danny of Lonesome Rock: wasn’t my doing at all. It was completely like that, just out of nowhere. And, uh, so from there I got a chance to like taste some really interesting wines. I met some Air France pilots who were collectors of all the good stuff. Right. So we went to sit on the wall at DRC, drinking the wines, went to dinner to all kinds of crazy Michelin star places.

And that event shook me. So when I went back to college where I was going to finish business school and maybe go to law school, um, I got a job at a French restaurant and everybody was French and the guy that owned it was in the wine business too. So there we were there. I was only months after being in Burgundy, getting a chance to taste, you know, all 10 crew Beaujolais.

Oh, darn. So, I mean, just from then on, it’s been a lifetime.

[00:08:01] A.J. Weinzettel: Right. Did, did your parents get upset when you dropped law to go for wine?

[00:08:08] Danny of Lonesome Rock: Well,

[00:08:08] Susan of Lonesome Rock: um, I may have not been their favorite for a little while,

[00:08:11] Danny of Lonesome Rock: I mean, it was literally enrolled in law, go to getting ready to go to law school instead, sell all my stuff and buy a one way to chase my then girlfriend, now wife, right?

to France where we end up spending four years. Yeah,

[00:08:34] Susan of Lonesome Rock: I had moved to France to get better at French so I could become this French teacher and he, um, was going to stay back in the States and go to law school. And I happened to get stationed right almost on the border of Champagne and Bourgogne. So I was in a little tiny town in the middle of nowhere, right in this wine area.

Um, and so, He just dropped everything and surprised me. I didn’t know he was coming and knocks on the

[00:09:05] Danny of Lonesome Rock: door. Wow. Yeah. That’s, we ended up

[00:09:09] Susan of Lonesome Rock: staying for almost four

[00:09:11] A.J. Weinzettel: years. That’s, you know, that’s stuff that poetry itself is

[00:09:14] Danny of Lonesome Rock: made out of right there. It’s pretty dramatic, right? Even though it’s us, it’s still dramatic.

It sounds, I guess it sounds dramatic. If it’s you, it doesn’t seem like that. Right, it’s like, oh, that was just my life. It’s your supposed to do, right? Right. So he ended

[00:09:27] Susan of Lonesome Rock: up going to, um, University of Borgogna, um, in Dijon. And going to wine school there. And we lived about a hundred kilometers north of Dijon.

And he would hitchhike to school every day. That he went, um, it wasn’t every day, but when he did, I needed the car for my job, he would hitchhike

[00:09:50] Danny of Lonesome Rock: to wine school.

[00:09:52] Susan of Lonesome Rock: And you know, this was what the early nineties. And I guess it was a little more prevalent than, I don’t know.

[00:10:00] A.J. Weinzettel: It’s a little bit more laid back than maybe.

[00:10:02] Danny of Lonesome Rock: Yeah. Yeah. Plus it was France. I mean, I think it’s, it’s hiking since we’ve been kids has been some, although when I was a kid. My parents picked up hitchhikers a couple of times. Yeah. Yeah. Wow. Nowadays, it seems like something you wouldn’t do, but right.

[00:10:20] A.J. Weinzettel: Yeah, no, you watch the movie, The Hitcher with Gregor Hauer in it.

And you’re like, Oh, dang, I’m not picking up any hitchhikers

[00:10:26] Susan of Lonesome Rock: truckers back to the apartment. Um, and we’d have to make them dinner on the way back.

[00:10:35] Danny of Lonesome Rock: These were great guys. Fascinating guys. I’m

[00:10:37] A.J. Weinzettel: sure there were some great stories. Was there anything that like comes to mind of like one of the truckers and like their stories and like,

[00:10:44] Danny of Lonesome Rock: Oh, they were all, they were all like, um, you wouldn’t think that’s, was the fun part about being, especially being in this rural part of France.

Like it’s so did so much to sort of remove the. mysticism or the fanciness of how wine is perceived in the United States. Right there. Every person that delivers the mail or all the auto mechanics, all the guys that were truck drivers, they were all like, loved wine, knew about wine. And the second that they knew or learned that I was doing wine in France, the discussion just floodgates opened.

I can imagine you not then invite them to dinner. You have to, they just gave me a ride, right? Yeah. I’ve got to

[00:11:27] A.J. Weinzettel: pay a guy back. You do. You do.

[00:11:30] Danny of Lonesome Rock: Yeah. And I didn’t have a cell phone. So it wasn’t like as if I could call my wife and say, I’m bringing somebody. But it’s like, okay,

[00:11:38] A.J. Weinzettel: we’ll probably have guests over tonight.

Right. No, that’s great. That’s great. And then you came back to the States to

[00:11:46] Danny of Lonesome Rock: Chicago, but there was something in between there. So, okay. Yeah. By year four, we signed teaching contracts to teach English again. Um, but then after wine school, my pro, I asked my prof to get me a job for the summer and he called his childhood best friend who made his wine for him and who also farmed his vineyards and said, and asked him whether he needed help for the summer.

Right. And he said, bring them tomorrow. So the next morning after my final exams in Dijon. Right. He drove me to a small tiny town called Curtivergie. I can’t believe I’m saying that, the name of this town in this interview is amazing. That had back then, um, 70 inhabitants. Holy cow. And so I went there and the first day I was dropped right in the vineyards with Louis.

Who was like a Ewell Brenner type in the vineyards, a guy in a six, 65 years old, actually by hand hedging the vineyards. Holy cow. And, and Eve unrolls the. His window as we’re driving by and to check on Louis and Louis says, Louis, how we doing? Louis says, couldn’t be better. It’s like club med out here. And so then I spent the summer there and instead of going back to teach English, we, he wanted me to stay and I was not going anywhere by then.

I wasn’t about to go and teach English again when I had found what I wanted to do for a living. Wow. And so we stayed for, I stayed, stayed there for another year or so and then did Harvest in 93 and finished the 92s. And, you know, I was the, I was the low man on the totem pole. So it was a lot of, um, all the great jobs that you do in a vineyard and a winery that I don’t look at as, uh, as hard work.

Well, it’s hard work. It is hard

[00:13:51] A.J. Weinzettel: work, but it’s, uh, it’s gratifying.

[00:13:54] Danny of Lonesome Rock: Yeah. And so we stayed there for a year and then our visa, my visa ran out and instead of the letter came and then the letter came and we got a letter saying, uh, dear Mr. Kleiman, thank you for applying to, uh, be a vineyard worker, seller worker here in the Coke door.

Um, but we have, and then there was a little underline where they typed in, I think the number was 300, 372 or something like that. There’s three of 318 French people Who are unemployed in this county, in this department, who will get that job before you get it. Denied. You want to teach English? Be our guest.

Stay as long as you want, otherwise time to go. So literally it was time to go. So we left. We left. I left first. And by then, you know, we could have stayed. We thought we would be in France, maybe still.

[00:14:52] Susan of Lonesome Rock: I mean, we were planning on living there forever. And then when that got ripped out from under him, he just very strongly felt like I can’t work and invest my life in a place where they could just on a dime make me leave.

Right. So he came back to Chicago, which is where he was born. That’s how he went back to Chicago. Yeah. And then I wrapped up our affairs there and finished my contract.

[00:15:18] Danny of Lonesome Rock: And wow. And then we came back home. And then got in the business and then we had one kid and then another one and then a bigger job and I’m traveling to France and in the, in the wine business, which I loved all the while every couple of years, dragging first one kid, then two, then three to from Mendocino to Anderson Valley and to Oregon a few times, looking

[00:15:47] Susan of Lonesome Rock: for a property and to France and Greece and, yeah, We looked at vineyard all

[00:15:51] Danny of Lonesome Rock: over the place.

We’ve been looking for this to come and move and make wine and have a vineyard. Right, right. Since 1995. That’s, that

[00:16:02] A.J. Weinzettel: is quite a journey.

[00:16:03] Danny of Lonesome Rock: Yeah. So it takes some people longer than others.

[00:16:07] A.J. Weinzettel: It’s okay. So why did you go into the industry as like a distributor slash importer instead of like into winemaking?

Well, I

[00:16:15] Danny of Lonesome Rock: was from Chicago and by then, you know, as a vineyard worker and a French teacher, you make very little money. So I came back home and got a job as a sommelier. And because my family was from Chicago, I thought, Oh, well, I’ll get a restaurant job. I’ll get a sommelier job and I’ll get in the business for a little bit and then I’ll go to wine country and make it happen.

Yeah. Well, that’s what that was the thing. Okay.

[00:16:40] A.J. Weinzettel: Yeah. Well, and you got to take care of the family too. So you got to

[00:16:42] Danny of Lonesome Rock: have

[00:16:42] Susan of Lonesome Rock: some. And his job was hard to leave. He loved his job. You know, you, you, you had a good living. It was dependable. Right. Um, and you kind of get in that mode and then you have children who have different.

there are different phases of life in their school and oh, it’s, we can’t, we can’t move Elliot now, you know? Right, right. And so, and then there was, you know, then by the time we realized, I mean, we knew forever since our twenties that this is what we eventually wanted to do, but, um, you know, we didn’t have the money to do it.

So we saved and saved and saved. And, um, finally our youngest daughter graduated high school in 20. One.

[00:17:31] Danny of Lonesome Rock: Yeah. 20. 20. Yeah. And then we kind of did what we, we had done before we sold all of our stuff. Mm-Hmm. and bought a one way and, and a small vineyard in the coast range. Right. Which is right there. . And

[00:17:47] Susan of Lonesome Rock: Covid too kind of went, you know, was difficult and you know, it makes you question, what am I doing with my life, you know?

Right. Time is precious. We’re not getting younger. This is not an old man’s game to start this. We’re already getting up there. So it’s kind of like all the stars started to align. For us to finally do it.

[00:18:10] Danny of Lonesome Rock: Yeah.

[00:18:10] A.J. Weinzettel: And, you know, as you’re saying all this, I’m remembering that Pixar movie, you know, of the, you know, of the old man who went on a journey to the falls place.

I can’t remember it, but it was, you know, the couple saved up a bunch of money and they, you know, they get a flat tire. Then he had to break the piggy bank. She eventually, you know, passes away. And so their dream together. Didn’t actually happen, but to see up. Thank you. Thank you.

[00:18:39] Danny of Lonesome Rock: Yeah. Yeah. Not a dry eye in the place from that.

Oh, my

[00:18:42] A.J. Weinzettel: gosh. No, not a dry eye. Um. If you don’t mind, can we take a small tangent? I, I’m curious about being a distributor. Um, you know, there’s, there’s a couple restaurants that I am aware of in like the Washington area, you know, they’re like, Ooh, we’d like to get some Oregon wine. They don’t have like a distributor and I’m like, Ooh, well, maybe I could just apply to be a distributor and just kind of help out some people here and there and whatnot.

But I don’t know. I mean, it seems way much, seems much more

[00:19:20] Danny of Lonesome Rock: complicated than that. Okay. Yeah. Well, there’s the, you know, the force three tier system where you have to have a wholesaler and, um, to sell to a licensed restaurateur or retailer. So the government sort of mandates that, right. And that, um, makes it complicated.

You know, it makes it, uh, it makes it so a lot of times, um, Distributors, where there’s been more and more consolidation over the last 25 years, where there used to be, when I started, lots of small, independent distributors that would get a phone call from a small winery around here, for example, and would taste the wine, love the wine, and say, let’s do it.

And then they would have distribution. Well, over the years, it’s become a bigger business, and there’s been so much, like in all industries. Right. In the United States. Right. Consolidation has made it so that smaller guys might have a more difficult time finding distributors. Okay. Um, but, uh, it’s, it’s, uh, it’s, so you.

To get it going, you might have to have inventory and warehousing and sales people and, and, uh, there’s three systems, every systems, there’s, there’s investments to be made. A lot of times you could start small and you see this all the time. There’s a, a guy who might start up an import business or a distribution business because his uncle makes wine in Italy and he brings over 25 cases from his uncle.

And so it can be done that way. But, but over time, People want to make a business out of it. Of course, the investments are not always small, right? Okay.

[00:21:04] A.J. Weinzettel: That makes sense. I was just, just kind of curious. I knew you had more of a background on that. And I was just. Doing a little bit of research. So I was just, yeah.

Picking your brain a little bit. Um,

my gosh. So you made like while you’re up in Chicago, like you made wine out of your garage and you ended up getting like a hundred year old, you know, uh, French press or Italian press. How did you come about that?

[00:21:35] Danny of Lonesome Rock: Well, I had a buddy who, um, Italian guy whose family was in the produce business, Tony Stallone, who I was, um.

I was seeing for business for that dog and, uh, I asked him what he’s doing this weekend. He says, I’m going to, I’ve, he inherited an old wine press, a friend of his inherited old wife. Right. And so they were going to go and one time they made it out of grapes and then they bought some concentrated grape juice, right?

They made wine out of it. And I said, let me tag along, you know, having been in France only a year or two prior, right? And so I tagged along and it was very rudimentary and it was me and two guys making wine in a garage And but but chicago was fun because they have you know, there’s an event. There’s a whole little italy where um a lot of uh Just off the boat families, right right go and contract to get grapes delivered from like the central valley of california and so there would be literally in the fall there’d be a couple of containers worth of Central Valley fruit that would arrive in containers in Chicago on the south side of Chicago.

And so you’d go, we’d go down there to pick our grapes, pick our fruit that was picked for us, probably a week or two prior. Right. And then, um, and so there was basically, you know, a lot of old school Chicago Italians on this container smoking cigarettes and cigars in the container, of course, and there’s me with my refractometer, checking on the ripeness to, and then, you know, so we’ve, we poisoned our friends with this, um, with the homemade wine over the years a lot, right.

And, uh, and we still have some here that I might We’ll send you home with a bottle or maybe we’ll open it. It’s scary. It’s scary. But, you know, but it was fun and it was, you know, it was good to get the kids. We made the kids do all the hard work. Right. And, uh. Kept the fire alive. Kept the fire going. You know.

That is great. Yeah. It was a

[00:23:43] Susan of Lonesome Rock: tradition. Yeah.

[00:23:47] A.J. Weinzettel: No, I was going to ask, but I think you already answered the question is like, how did you coordinate getting grapes from California onto the train to Chicago?

[00:23:55] Danny of Lonesome Rock: Oh yeah. No, that was baked in the cake, right? You know, Chicago that way they’ve been doing that for years, so that was already there for us.

[00:24:03] A.J. Weinzettel: Do you think that it’s still happening today? Oh, it

[00:24:05] Danny of Lonesome Rock: is. It is. Wow. In fact. Um, the son of one of the guys that we did it with, I do it with him via the phone calls right. And from the actual container saying, what do you think of these grapes? And we’re looking through together and it’s, I mean, it’s, it’s pretty funny.

I mean, it’s, that would be hilarious and Kerrigan’s and,

[00:24:25] A.J. Weinzettel: but still that’s the exact polar opposite of like what we see here, but that’s what you got to do. And that’s just, that’s

[00:24:34] Danny of Lonesome Rock: amazing. Yeah. We’ve. Um, stepped up our game. The fundamentals apply, of course. Yeah.

[00:24:43] A.J. Weinzettel: No, definitely. You got to have all the fundamentals.

Um, you know, so you talked about looking land throughout all the, you know, all throughout the world where there’s some properties that you had your eye on. It’s like, Ooh, we can do this. And then like, The rug got pulled out from underneath you or like, were there times that it was like super close that you’re getting to purchase another

[00:25:04] Danny of Lonesome Rock: property?

The one that I really think of. There was a couple that were close over the years.

[00:25:11] Susan of Lonesome Rock: The one that I can really think of was, should I say it? Like, yeah. Yeah. Right next door to where Granville is, was a property called Fuqua. Okay. It’s not called that anymore. But if you go up the Granville drive right on the left, there was this vineyard right there.

Oh, and we were very interested in that. Like, what was that? 10 years ago? Yeah. Or maybe 12. It was maybe even 15. I don’t know. Time’s flying.

[00:25:38] Danny of Lonesome Rock: 10 to 15 years. Yeah.

[00:25:40] Susan of Lonesome Rock: Yeah. A long time ago. And we were, I mean, we weren’t to where we were ready to sign a contract, but we really dove deep into that one. And

[00:25:50] Danny of Lonesome Rock: then. And that got us ready to keep doing it until we.

We’re actually, you know, a lot of times you say, oh, it’s not, we’re not ready yet. You don’t have the money. No, when you’re, when you make a decision to do something, that’s when you’re ready. And so all the other times might have been more than just kicking tires, but that’s what they ended up being. So it wasn’t really until 20 till the fires of 2020 during covid that we came out again, we were supposed to come in September of 2020.

But everything was on fire. And so United canceled and we couldn’t come until the next month. So we came in October of 2020 and saw that time we had seen that time. We saw another dozen properties after seeing almost that many handful of other times over the years. Right. And, um, and that’s how we came across.

[00:26:47] Susan of Lonesome Rock: There was one other time, though, that we’re very serious. We were going to try to purchase the property in France where he had worked. Um, well, the gentleman that owns that property has been almost like a father figure to him. I mean, like, they talk every week still. Like, they’re very tight to this day.

That’s amazing. He didn’t have a child to take over. that wanted to do that business. To make the wine part. To make the wine part. And so we looked very, very deeply into that, but it got very complicated with the taxation system and the legalities of it. And again, we weren’t quite at the right place in life yet to be able to, to pull that off.

So that one got

[00:27:32] Danny of Lonesome Rock: canceled too. With what’s happening in Burgundy over the last 10 years, for however expensive that was at the time, Probably cheap compared to what it would be like. Oh, I’m sure. Right? Yes. Yes.

[00:27:44] Susan of Lonesome Rock: I know. And we feel like now, too, in the Oak Coat, with climate change and such, and it’s higher and cooler, it might be a really great spot, but we’re not there.

[00:27:56] Danny of Lonesome Rock: Nope. You are here.

[00:27:57] A.J. Weinzettel: Yes. And what was your first impression when you, you know, came

[00:28:01] Danny of Lonesome Rock: here? Well, the, the couple of things. First of all, the drive up is, is quite exciting. It’s, you, you kind of realize that you’re, Um, you’ve left the main part of Willamette Valley where there’s hundreds of vineyards and wineries.

Right. And so we’re a little bit, we’re off the beaten path here at Lonesome Rock. Um, so that was beautiful. Um, but really it was pretty scary because we saw smoke. And in fact, because it was October and not all the grapes were picked, we stood

[00:28:34] Susan of Lonesome Rock: up there. Almost none of the grapes were picked, they let them, they let them

[00:28:37] Danny of Lonesome Rock: hang.

Yeah, we have, we put this video before we even, you know, months before we ended up buying Lonesome Rock, we have the video on our website of, um, of the birds going crazy and eating. Yeah. I’m sure they were very happy. Yeah. It was a good day for them. Yeah. Yeah. Um, so, you know, the, the, the. Decision, you know, there’s so much that go into, you know, deciding what vineyard site you want and so much that goes into the putting together of a business plan to put this together and one of the things that was, um,

that made it scary was that it’s so far off the beaten path, you know, so many of the other great producers, small, big, that are so near each other, there’s such a advantage that they have about, you know, proximity to other famous places. And so that, you know, for us, there were other great vineyards that had possibilities that we were looking at, but it ended up being the vineyard site and the wines made from this type of, um, site that Lonesome Rock is.

That made us say, if we’re going to do it, we have to pick it based on wine that we want to make. Right. Yeah, that makes sense.

[00:30:01] Susan of Lonesome Rock: You know, we bought this from Scott Baldwin, who is from DuPont.

[00:30:07] Danny of Lonesome Rock: Yes, I am aware of that. Yes.

[00:30:08] Susan of Lonesome Rock: And so we tasted through, before we even came up to the property, we tasted through every single vintage of Lonesome Rock DuPont that we could find, as well as the other vineyards, the other wineries that bought from here, which was Dalil.

Um, that’s Sunu up in Washington, right? Um, so we tried to taste as many wines as possible before we even came to see and we fell in love with the wine right off the bat before we even saw the property. So there was a level of comfort already in the quality of the site. You know, before we stepped foot and then, you know, me, I got here.

Um, and to me it was perfect. I felt home immediately. I, I know

[00:30:57] Danny of Lonesome Rock: he, the, the wine, the wine part was both comforting and scary at the same time. Why? Because although, even though we tasted a lot of wines made from here and we knew what we wanted in terms of flavor profile and, um, elevation and cool nights and all the things that make Lonesome Rock unique.

Correct. We knew we wanted that. All the wines that we had tasted were made from the original old plantings that are right behind us, which is half the vineyard. So even though you might think you know what a vineyard is going to give because you taste the wines, it was all from the old blocks, which is only half of the acreage of Pinot Noir here at Lonesome Rock.

So if you go west. The last vineyard West, I guess, I don’t think there’s anybody further West than us here, right? Um,

[00:31:49] Susan of Lonesome Rock: and we had never tasted the Chardonnay

[00:31:51] Danny of Lonesome Rock: and the Chardonnay had been hadn’t was only planted in 2016. So, and there’s an acre of Pinot Meunier that was never made in anything. So, so in terms of the rolling of the dice, you never going to know everything.

No, there’s no time. It was time. And we just, you know, we just did it. That’s amazing. Yeah.

[00:32:09] A.J. Weinzettel: Yeah. Um. So normally I wait until the end to do the reveal on a blind wine, you know, I thought we might kind of taste into your, into your wine as well. Sure. So any guesses or anything, or you just want me to kind of like

[00:32:28] Danny of Lonesome Rock: No, it’s, it’s pretty, it’s well made, it’s got great acidity, it’s, there’s a, there’s like a coppery color edge here that makes me think that it might have a, might have been, you know, have a couple of years in the bottle.

So, um. I don’t know. Okay. It could be a lot of things. It could be a lot of things. I know. I like it. That’s all for

[00:32:53] A.J. Weinzettel: sure. And that’s all that matters. Um, so this is corollary lonesome rock, sparkling 2018.

[00:33:00] Danny of Lonesome Rock: Wow. Yeah, no, that’s amazing. Yeah. Yeah. You’re you and I, then might be some of the only people that have a lot of this left or any of it left.

I think

[00:33:14] A.J. Weinzettel: this is my, I might have one more bottle. I think

[00:33:17] Danny of Lonesome Rock: that might be it. Well, thanks for spoiling us and that is,

[00:33:22] Susan of Lonesome Rock: yeah, we’ve, I think we’ve only tasted it once or twice. Two times.

[00:33:26] Danny of Lonesome Rock: Two times. Ever. Oh my goodness.

[00:33:29] Susan of Lonesome Rock: The corollary because we couldn’t get any, but

[00:33:32] Danny of Lonesome Rock: we have bottles though. And as soon as we saw that it sold out fast, we’re like, we got to lock this up.

Yes. Right. Yes. So we have a few bottles left, but I think they also made magnums of this that I’m going to try to get my hands on. That would be nice. Yeah. We should savor over that side. I think. Sign me up. I’ll be here. Yeah. Yeah. Okay.

[00:33:52] Susan of Lonesome Rock: Yeah. Oh, gee, you brought up the 22. Yeah. So you’ll be the very first person to ever taste that.

[00:33:57] Danny of Lonesome Rock: Ooh.

[00:33:58] A.J. Weinzettel: Well, talk about

[00:33:59] Danny of Lonesome Rock: being lucky. So this is exciting. Right. Um, so 2022 vintage was our second harvest here and, um, it, uh, there’s some, um, sort of milestones. Um, At Lonesome Rock. The 21 was our first vintage, and that has a portion of the vineyard that wasn’t in prior blends, um, from the furthest west piece.

And then this is the first, one of the first things we did when we were here, uh, actually even before we even closed, was to graft over some Calera Pinot, which didn’t, which didn’t make a lot of fruit, nor was it particularly compelling. Um, Okay. So one of the clones that wasn’t at, uh, wasn’t planted here was Fadensville, which we’ve liked over the years.

And so we got some cuttings of the best, oldest vines from DuPont and brought them down to OSU and grafted those. Nice. And so in 21, we didn’t get any fruit from that because we had just grafted it then. Right. And so this wine is going to be the first wine from Lonesome Rock that we’ll have. Um, The baby’s still in there.

Wow. So that’s exciting. That is very exciting. But that was in the 21. Yeah, that was it.

[00:35:32] A.J. Weinzettel: Yeah. No, I very vividly remember, uh, tasting the, the 21 Pino the first time when I was up here last year and I was just totally sucked into the wine and like nobody else existed outside of my little bubble. And uh, you know, I, I looked up and you were kind of looking at me and I’m like, damn, this is good.

Right. Because I just kind of forgot that there was other people around me. I just got lost in it.

[00:35:57] Danny of Lonesome Rock: Awesome. Yeah. Yeah. We felt lucky. We felt lucky. 21s are just in general. So great. So young. So pretty. So open. Yes. And, uh, thank you. Of course.

[00:36:13] A.J. Weinzettel: And on this, I, I’m loving the, the nose on this. It is, uh, it just grabs you right up immediately.

Um, all that, all that dark fruit. And I love, I love the dark fruit.

[00:36:27] Danny of Lonesome Rock: 22s are, are big. I don’t know that there’s, we’ve tasted this, we’ve, we’ve been tasting this and I don’t know that it’s as ready for release as the 21s drank so great. So, um, but I think this one will last maybe the more currently great 22s.

Yeah. We’re excited.

[00:36:51] A.J. Weinzettel: And, and again, holy cow. There’s just wave after wave of intensity of fruit and spice and everything on that. I really appreciate that. Oh, do you think the 22s are a little bit bigger and bolder because of all the long hang time? Because, you know, it was quite a long harvest. Yeah.

[00:37:14] Danny of Lonesome Rock: We’re late to begin with here anyway.

And so We’re, you know, mid to, we did a couple of different picks. Right. And all the way up until October 21st. Holy cow. So we needed, you know, you need that, we needed that hang time that late. Right. And the rains sort of came almost right immediately afterwards. And, um, it was more, even though it was our second harvest, it was, You know, the worries about the weather, of course it’s stressful, have not waived at all.


[00:37:50] A.J. Weinzettel: Yes. I can only

[00:37:52] Danny of Lonesome Rock: imagine. Fires and frost and rain. It’s just. Yeah.

[00:37:56] A.J. Weinzettel: Yeah. No. I mean, when

[00:37:59] Danny of Lonesome Rock: you’re probably going to sound weird that we’re still blown away by the ups and downs of, but I think that’s what it’s all about. Right. It is.

[00:38:09] A.J. Weinzettel: It is. It is. I mean. Um, even like when I spoke to Jackson at, uh, Granville early last year, you know, we were talking about the frost and, you know, he’s been in the industry forever, you know, and he talked to his dad about the frost and I mean, he was still like blown away by the weather and like his dad was like, yeah, no, we’ve never seen frost like that

[00:38:34] Danny of Lonesome Rock: ever.

Yeah. Yeah. As you know, we make our Chardonnay with Jackson. Exactly. That’s why I brought it up. Yeah. Yeah. And he’s farmed here. Um, years before he started making his own line. So he knows Lonesome Rock pretty intimately. And, you know, the, the frost event, we went, you know, we were out there the night before, you know, we look at the weather and their, um, Pino had just started a bud out, I guess more in the valley and our Pino and our buds were sleeping.

Yeah, I guess we’re lucky for that.

[00:39:11] Susan of Lonesome Rock: Yeah, to 10 days later than everybody else. Yeah. So we were a little bit more protected,

[00:39:16] Danny of Lonesome Rock: but Chardonnay had had the green plant, the green plant on there. So just a little, we got a little nervous there and we actually even grabbed some of the buds off of there and sliced them open.

Right. See what this is going on. Right. And they were, you know, thank God there weren’t that many of them, but, but a few of them did have sort of a gray, you know, a little bit of a burn. It’s what it is, right. And so, you know, of course we’re looking at social media and talking to other winemakers and everybody thinks it’s going to be, especially for the Valley that’s ahead of us.

I thought it was going to really smash the, the harvest in terms of quantity for Pinot. Right.

[00:39:59] A.J. Weinzettel: But it wasn’t, I mean, those secondary and tertiary, you know, buds just came through and like there was extra

[00:40:05] Danny of Lonesome Rock: fruit, extra fruit. It’s crazy here. We don’t, we get low yields here, you know, and the soil here and we have great water drainage here and we’re late harvest.

So we can’t carry that huge of a crop here anyway. And the historic yields here have, we’ve never gotten over two and a half tons an acre here. And the biggest harvest on record ever from this property was ended up being the one where there might not be any fruit. So I don’t know. You would think that that would make us then not freak out every time there’s going to be a potential danger.


[00:40:43] A.J. Weinzettel: but this is your baby. Of course you’re going to freak out. I mean, I would.

[00:40:47] Danny of Lonesome Rock: Plus we’re here. We live here. Right. You know, we get the chance. It’s

[00:40:52] Susan of Lonesome Rock: in our face

[00:40:52] Danny of Lonesome Rock: every

[00:40:52] A.J. Weinzettel: day. Yep. Exactly. Exactly. Earlier, you were talking about, you know, stories and everything. You said that there was such, even like the, the label on your wine, there was such a, A story, an intricate detail about the label.

I have not heard the story behind

[00:41:09] Danny of Lonesome Rock: the label. Well, we originally want to take

[00:41:13] Susan of Lonesome Rock: that one, honey. Sure. Um, we wanted something really personal and something, you know, that looked like Oregon to us and looked organic. And, um, we just couldn’t land on something we, we had originally hired someone who was very talented and I, and I love her work.

Um, but we ended up veering away from the designs that she did for us because it just didn’t feel like us. It just didn’t feel quite right, even though some of them are very beautiful. So, um, our son, who is 23 at the time, I think. Came and he was living with us and he saw us agonizing over the label and he goes, I’m going to find something right now.

I’m going to, we’re going to get inspired. And so he started trying just to look for artists that he liked and he actually found a tattoo artist, um, that had done some interesting drawings and they kind of resonated with us and. One of them, um, we decided, well, we have a ginkgo on the property first of all.

And we kind of started thinking about this ginkgo and all of the symbolism behind a ginkgo tree about longevity and uniqueness and healing properties and that type of thing. And it kind of felt like something that could represent how we felt about this place. And, um, then we came across this snake, which was You know, we had many late night conversations that like, are we actually going to put a snake on the label?

Like something that repulses a lot of people. But, um,

[00:43:00] Danny of Lonesome Rock: yeah, let’s put something on our label. That’s the most universal symbol of something that makes people recoil. So what we’re supposed to ask people to reach out and grab something that has a snake on it. So at three in the morning, these are the.

Things that well, yeah, I mean you got

[00:43:17] A.J. Weinzettel: to overthink it.

[00:43:19] Danny of Lonesome Rock: Yeah. Yes,

[00:43:20] Susan of Lonesome Rock: but when we looked at some of the really, really old and ancient, um, um, uh, meanings that people put behind snakes, one of them was that they were a guardian of a sacred space. Right. And we felt like this was a sacred space to us. And it happens to be that the very first living thing besides a human that we saw in here was a snake down by a spring that we have down there.

Wow. And it kind of just came together and it looked cool in there, you know, visually. And you know, the, the meaning behind both of those things resonated with

[00:43:58] Danny of Lonesome Rock: us. We agonized more over the label design than we did. We knew about the vineyard. We knew that was the wine we wanted to make. Right. And then if, if so much of Pinot Noir is the vineyard, right.

What’s the other thing that it’s so important being in the business. I’ve seen so many great wines fail. Because of packaging. Right. And then I’ve seen so many, maybe less than great wines succeed because of the packaging. Yeah. Yeah. So,

[00:44:31] Susan of Lonesome Rock: and then the, the, we put the crimson on the, on the Pino because we plant crimson in between the rows, you know, like a lot of people in Oregon do.

Right. You know, it’s one of the things that helps us be organic. And, um, so that’s where the crimson came from.

[00:44:49] A.J. Weinzettel: That’s amazing. I, You know, I will honestly say I did not notice the snake until just until you mentioned it and looking at it right this very second. So it’s, it’s very,

[00:45:02] Danny of Lonesome Rock: this wine a couple of times.

[00:45:04] A.J. Weinzettel: Oh yeah. Yeah. I mean, I’m very familiar with the

[00:45:06] Danny of Lonesome Rock: label. We, we wanted it to be not trying to be provocative by putting a snake on early, right? You know?

[00:45:14] Susan of Lonesome Rock: Right. Right. So the tattoo artist. The tattoo artist, you know, kind of came up with the configurations and then I did the coloration and I created the labels.

But I added a couple more leaves and stuff because I started getting scared about the snake. Right, right. No, I get that. To make it not be in your face, but just a little nod to. Right. You know, it’s a risk. This is a risky business. And the snake to me also represented this element of risk and

[00:45:44] Danny of Lonesome Rock: we went from edge to it.

Yeah. We went from, can we really put this on there too? We have to put this on. Now we have to, you have to like it. It’s fine. Right. We’ll see what happens. And to see a snake.

[00:45:57] A.J. Weinzettel: Up here.

[00:45:59] Danny of Lonesome Rock: I mean, that’s really odd. So there’s a spring here that’s super deep. Okay. And as we’re pulling up in the U Haul from Chicago, Susie says, guess what the first thing you’re going to do is?

And I said, well, I’ve got a list. She says, you’re going to put a fence. around the spring. So the dogs don’t get in there. And I said, no, I’m not. We’ve got labs. They have webbed feet.

[00:46:22] Susan of Lonesome Rock: I’m not afraid that they’re like fish, but it goes down almost 40 feet. And if they get in there, there’s no way that they can get out.

It’s dangerous. And I was going to be here by myself for a couple of months while he went back to Chicago to wrap up his, you know, our life there. Right. And I was going to be here alone with the dogs. And I could just see, cause this one, Juno will go after every ball. The ball goes down the spring and she’s at the bottom of a 40 foot pit and I’m here by myself without cell phone.

No, the fence is

[00:46:52] Danny of Lonesome Rock: going in. I’m not making it. But of course that was the first thing I was doing. Right. And then literally getting off the, with the sledgehammer and shovels, getting off to be right by there. There was a snake that went right through my legs. Holy cow. Literally day one. So I don’t know, maybe that’s kismet.

Maybe we I thought we, yeah, no,

[00:47:15] A.J. Weinzettel: that’s, that’s pretty amazing. You know, I, um, I interviewed Andy Lytle, like my third or fourth episode, and he talked a lot about legacy. And I just like anybody that I interview that has kids, I have to talk about legacy a little bit now. Like, have you given thought to like, what kind of legacy you want to leave

[00:47:38] Danny of Lonesome Rock: for your kids?

Well, I’ll say something

[00:47:43] Susan of Lonesome Rock: real quick. Sure. You know, we didn’t want to also saddle our children with a burden of, oh, now I’ve got to go into the wine business.

[00:47:52] Danny of Lonesome Rock: Of course. Right. A

[00:47:53] A.J. Weinzettel: lot of, a lot of people think

[00:47:54] Danny of Lonesome Rock: that way. Right.

[00:47:55] Susan of Lonesome Rock: But we would love to leave this for any of them that wants it. Right. Um, our

[00:48:03] Danny of Lonesome Rock: son. We made, you know, the decision.

without sort of knowing that eventually there would, that would come to that, but without knowing that they, there was a for sure thing, right. Um, which is good. I mean, we didn’t, we, they didn’t, they, even though they grew up in the business and they grew up, you know, making wine in the garage. It’s a different thing once you get out here and you live on a vineyard.

So it’s totally different. We were, we, um, we hope they would and find interest in the first year. Our son, we got Elliot, we got Elliot a job with, with, uh, DuPont making the wine with us at, with Isabelle. Right. And so he had Isabelle working with Isabelle for the That’s awesome. First few months, which is good training.

Yes. And then, um, and,

[00:48:48] Susan of Lonesome Rock: and, um, our nephew came too.

[00:48:50] Danny of Lonesome Rock: And our nephew too. And then his second year we, he went to Durant, did harvest with those guys there, and then just did harvested resonance and now is studying. Did a culture analogy in Washington state. That’s amazing. So he, all of this happened in the last couple of,

[00:49:06] Susan of Lonesome Rock: yeah, we moved here and our kids were in Chicago, like they’re Chicago kids, right?

All three of them have moved out. That’s awesome. All three of the little one goes to university of Oregon. Um, she’s doing her, um, study abroad junior year in France right now. So she’s loving it. That’s going to make you feel proud. And then the oldest one moved to Portland, she’s having a baby next month, and then the middle one, Elliot, he had done two years of college during COVID and he really just was not into it.

Like it was all on zoom. He wasn’t feeling it. He didn’t know what he wanted to do. So he took a pause and said, mom, dad, I’m moving out to Oregon with you guys. I’m just going to work and see if I like the industry. So he did for three years and

[00:49:50] Danny of Lonesome Rock: now, and we don’t want to be overbearing and saying this, like you’re doing this.

No, no, you can’t, you can’t make somebody want, want something. No, you can’t. He’s

[00:50:00] Susan of Lonesome Rock: way into it now, big time. So it’s exciting. So we’re very happy for him and he’s thriving up there and

[00:50:08] A.J. Weinzettel: that is very exciting. Well, congratulations. Thank you. Yeah. Yeah. When are, when can I expect some Lonesome Rock sparkling?

[00:50:17] Danny of Lonesome Rock: Oh, good question. Pinot Meunier, the laker right there. Yeah. And in 22, we took, um, a little over a ton from there and a little over a ton from the coolest spot at Lonesome Lake behind us. Right. And, uh, put a Blanc de Noir entourage last April. Ooh. Okay. So we’ll see you, I don’t know, in 36 months or so. Okay.

26 we said. Yeah. Yeah. Right. Time’s passed. And then we did that again in 23. So, you know, this spot should make sparkling.

[00:50:55] A.J. Weinzettel: Well, I mean, we just had some sparkling. Right. Right.

[00:50:58] Danny of Lonesome Rock: We know. I enjoyed it. Um, and, uh, and with Pinot Meunier, there’s no reason why we shouldn’t be making that. So, no, I

[00:51:07] A.J. Weinzettel: mean, you could do Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Monet.

I mean, you got, you got everything just right

[00:51:14] Danny of Lonesome Rock: here. There’s options. Not a lot of acres of any of these things, but still really interesting blending. Yes. Well, that’s, that

[00:51:23] A.J. Weinzettel: is cool. So is Isabel making the sparkling?

[00:51:25] Danny of Lonesome Rock: Yes. Well, the base wine and then it’s at, uh, it’s at. And with Andrew Lytle at, uh, Oh, at Gradient?

[00:51:34] A.J. Weinzettel: Yep. Okay. Nice,

[00:51:35] Danny of Lonesome Rock: nice. Yeah. That’s exciting. So, in a year, a little over two years, we’ll be, once again, Yeah, I can’t wait for that over the deck, too. Yeah. I look forward to it. Yeah. Yeah. I do have one

[00:51:49] Susan of Lonesome Rock: more exciting little line.

[00:51:51] Danny of Lonesome Rock: Sure. Should I get it? Yeah. Well, you can just tell me. So, when we were, uh, so, the, the, Property I worked at in France was called, it’s called, uh, Domaine Yves Chalet et Fille and Daughter.

Right. Yeah. Right. And the first vineyard that I got dropped off in, where I saw Louis, was their Aligoté vineyards. Mm hmm. And so when I was there for the daughter’s birthday a couple of years ago, I blend, we blended some Aligoté from a couple of different tanks and some concrete too. And made an aligoté from the property I worked at.

Oh my goodness. And so, um, we made 50 cases of that. And so. That’s just arrived at our warehouse last week. Wow. Yeah. That’s amazing. So Ali Gautier from, from the same little town that we lived in. Yeah. So that’s exciting. That’s like full circle right there. Right. Yeah.

[00:52:55] A.J. Weinzettel: That’s

[00:52:55] Danny of Lonesome Rock: amazing. And there might be more stay tuned.


[00:53:00] A.J. Weinzettel: Uh,

[00:53:02] Danny of Lonesome Rock: have

[00:53:03] A.J. Weinzettel: you learned any more about your Ukraine olive trees over

[00:53:07] Danny of Lonesome Rock: the last year? It’s yeah, except we’ve learned more. We’ve learned more that there’s wasn’t olives for last harvest. There was, you know, 20 individuals and there’s 77 trees and there’s 77 trees. So we love them and we love having, you know, lots of different types of plants, right?

And, and life out here at Lonesome, but, um, as far as, wouldn’t it be great to have Lonesome Rock olive oil? It would be

[00:53:36] A.J. Weinzettel: amazing. Yeah.

[00:53:38] Danny of Lonesome Rock: It’s, I don’t know. It’s not happening right now. It doesn’t seem like it. Look, if, if Oregon is just marginal for olive trees to begin with, and then we’re at one of the coolest spots, high elevation, late ripening spots, I don’t know that it’s the right thing.

It probably

[00:53:53] A.J. Weinzettel: isn’t, but still, it’s fun to dabble

[00:53:55] Danny of Lonesome Rock: in. Yeah. Yeah. And we, you know, I run over the irrigation lines with the tractor. It’s not, it’s providing lots of work. Right. Um, but not olives yet. Okay. All right.

[00:54:09] A.J. Weinzettel: The other thing that you talked about when I was here, um, was trying to get a barrel from one of the trees here on site.


[00:54:18] Danny of Lonesome Rock: Any, yeah, that’s a, that’s kind of fun. Right. We, um, we had, as you could see. They could see this oak, right? Maybe. Possibly. Yeah. Yeah. Um, there’s a handful of, um, and we drew, we joined the Oak Alliance. What’s it called? Yeah. Um, the, for the preservation of Savannah oaks in Oregon. Yes. And, uh, so there’s a handful of dozen or so couple hundred year old plus oak trees here.

And we lost one in the storm of November of 21 actually. And so, um, We took the, we took part of the tree to make some slabs, you know, for some tables, but then the heart we have, we, um, brought to, there’s a Cooper in McMinnville. Rick D. Ferrari. Yeah. They’re drying out. And so we made staves. Right. They’re aging as we speak outside.

Oh. Yeah. Okay. Yes. So we’ll cooper a barrel, um, there when it’s ready, probably in a year or so. Okay. And we’ll probably

[00:55:26] Susan of Lonesome Rock: do a special curet with that. Yeah.

[00:55:28] Danny of Lonesome Rock: Oh, you have to. Yeah. Yeah. We already got the label done. Oh,

[00:55:33] A.J. Weinzettel: that’s amazing.

[00:55:34] Danny of Lonesome Rock: And so we’re trying to taste every wine we can that’s made from, there’s not a ton.

It’s more and more of a thing. Oregon people are exploring that, but there’s not a ton of wine. So it’s, it’s what could be more fun than trying to make wine from a site that’s unique and that’s far away from, there’s not another vineyard within miles of here. Right. And then, uh, fermented and aged in oak that’s been here for a couple of years.

That’s. That’s special. Appeals to us. Yes. It appeals to me.

[00:56:07] A.J. Weinzettel: Yeah. I have some rapid fire questions and I’ll get you out of here. All right. Uh, favorite, uh, harvest. Good gosh. Favorite artist to listen to during

[00:56:18] Danny of Lonesome Rock: harvest. Favorite artist to listen to? Um, Black Sabbath Electric Funeral. That’s the most

[00:56:28] Susan of Lonesome Rock: I’m more like a Decembrist kind of girl.

[00:56:30] Danny of Lonesome Rock: Right. Okay. Love that too.

[00:56:33] A.J. Weinzettel: Uh, favorite indulgent food?

[00:56:38] Susan of Lonesome Rock: I love crab cakes.

[00:56:39] Danny of Lonesome Rock: Okay. Nice. Love crab cakes. Favorite indulgent food?

Rillette de peau. Pork rillettes. Hmm. We’ve tried making it a few times and it’s, we’re working on it. It’s a struggle. Yeah.

[00:57:00] A.J. Weinzettel: Yes. If you could choose a super power,

[00:57:02] Danny of Lonesome Rock: what would it be?

Um, I thought flying. I would say. Although I always loved Aquaman the most, but I’d love to be able to fly.

[00:57:21] A.J. Weinzettel: I don’t know if you have any harvest notes, but if you do, are they digital or handwritten?

[00:57:26] Danny of Lonesome Rock: Both. Yeah. Okay. There’s some stuff that we write like recording our own degree days, right? We’ve got to get a weather station though. So a lot of it’s not exact, but it’s from our own sort of. Thermometers on the property.

But, um, so it’s both.

[00:57:43] A.J. Weinzettel: And then the last book you read, or it could be like an Audible

[00:57:47] Danny of Lonesome Rock: or a podcast. Sure. I just started, um, grape stories by Alan. Is it grape stories?

[00:57:58] A.J. Weinzettel: Oh, by Alan Holst. Yeah. Oh, that’s a great book.

[00:58:01] Danny of Lonesome Rock: Yeah. That’s a great

[00:58:02] Susan of Lonesome Rock: book. That’s the last book I’ve also picked up, but I didn’t finish it yet.

Yeah. For that, I read all the light we

[00:58:10] Danny of Lonesome Rock: cannot see.

[00:58:11] A.J. Weinzettel: Okay. Yeah. No, the Alan Holstein book I really like that was good. And I haven’t read it. Did you finish it? Yes. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

[00:58:20] Danny of Lonesome Rock: No, that was, I’m in the middle of it.

[00:58:22] A.J. Weinzettel: It was really good. I appreciated it a bunch. Well, as we wrap up, do you have any questions or anything for me that you’d like

[00:58:30] Danny of Lonesome Rock: to ask?

Yeah. How did you get into this?

[00:58:35] A.J. Weinzettel: Uh, so I was a member at a, at a winery for four or five years and I didn’t, So, uh, I, Domain serene. Sure. And I had thoroughly explored everything that they had. I loved it, but I was like, there’s so much around here. Um, that I wanted to explore. And so I was looking for, you know, a person to like give recommendations to, or like, where should I go?

Because I’m like, I have no clue. I couldn’t find anybody that gave a recommendation. So I’m like, all right, well, I’m just going to start, start a journey and just go. And I’m just going to record what I do. And, um, at that time it was a weekly newsletter and that started in like July of 2019. So every week, you know, 1, 500, 2, 500 words up until August of last year.

And now it’s like once a month, but then like the, I started the podcast, uh, this is my third year and it’s just been a blast to share stories, get to know people and explore some amazing wine. Love

[00:59:42] Danny of Lonesome Rock: it.

[00:59:44] Susan of Lonesome Rock: Love it. You’re the go to guy for that around here. For

[00:59:47] Danny of Lonesome Rock: sure.

[00:59:48] A.J. Weinzettel: I try to be.

[00:59:49] Danny of Lonesome Rock: I try to be. Dare self. A thousand little stories to around here too.

It’s gotta be, you gotta, you know, you’ve got stuff to work with.

[00:59:57] Susan of Lonesome Rock: It’s amazing how interconnected everything here is. It is. Collaborative and I love

[01:00:03] Danny of Lonesome Rock: it. I

[01:00:04] A.J. Weinzettel: love it too. I, you know, I’m going to interview Tamar from Lingua Franca next week and him and Andrew Rikers, you know, know each other. Andrew used to, you know, make wine there.

And, you know, one story I want to ask Tamar is. You know, at one point you and Andrew were just kind of, you know, standing around and looking all, all over everybody. And it’s like, well, where are the adults? And they’re like, Oh crap, we are the adults, you know? So just, I mean, to bring that story back to him that I heard from Andrew, I mean, I love, I

[01:00:40] Danny of Lonesome Rock: love doing all that stuff.

It’s amazing how interconnected everybody is here. There’s yeah. Awesome. It is awesome. Yeah.

[01:00:47] Susan of Lonesome Rock: Yeah. And it’s, it’s interesting too, for Danny here, because he used to sell a lot of wines from wineries around here for 20 years in Chicago. I can imagine. So he goes back a long way with, he went to Oregon Pinot Camp when?

[01:01:04] Danny of Lonesome Rock: 20, 2001. Oh, wow. Wow. That’s, that’s amazing. Yeah. There’s a lot of full circle things. Lots of great producers, Bethel Heights. Patty green, Patty green and domain serene and Shea and Bergstrom and all of them. Selena. Yeah. Yeah. It is. Hill. So many great wines we’ve had from here. And so. I couldn’t agree more.

[01:01:34] A.J. Weinzettel: All right. Well, if there’s nothing else, I want to thank you so much for taking the time again. This has been amazing. Thank you for taking

[01:01:40] Danny of Lonesome Rock: the time to come up. Of course. Yeah. Thank you. One of the first people to find Lonesome Rock at all, let alone somebody that does this. So glad

[01:01:49] A.J. Weinzettel: we met you. Yeah. Same here.

You can blame Dan and Jean because of. Of the sparkling. I’m like, Ooh, lonesome rock. I haven’t heard of that. So yeah, that was amazing. Yeah. No, thank you so much. I appreciate it. Yep. Thank you.

[01:02:05] Danny of Lonesome Rock: Thank you for joining me on this flavorful voyage

[01:02:07] A.J. Weinzettel: through the world of

[01:02:08] Danny of Lonesome Rock: wine on the White Notes podcast. I’ve been your host and

[01:02:11] A.J. Weinzettel: guide, A.

J. Weinzell, and it’s been an

[01:02:13] Danny of Lonesome Rock: absolute pleasure sharing these captivating stories with you.

[01:02:17] A.J. Weinzettel: But alas, like the last sip of a fine vintage, our time together must end. But don’t fret, my wine loving friend. The cellar doors of the Wine Notes podcast will always remain open, waiting

[01:02:29] Danny of Lonesome Rock: for you to return and explore new conversations.

stories and musings from the captivating people behind the magical world of wine. Before

[01:02:38] A.J. Weinzettel: you go, hit that subscribe button on YouTube, Apple Podcasts, and

[01:02:40] Danny of Lonesome Rock: Spotify, and don’t forget to leave a sparkly 5 star review to help spread the word.

[01:02:47] A.J. Weinzettel: Until our glasses clink again, remember to savor life’s moment

[01:02:50] Danny of Lonesome Rock: and let the spirit of wine and camaraderie linger on your palate.

[01:02:55] A.J. Weinzettel: Cheers, and as always, may your wine glass be full, your heart be

[01:02:58] Danny of Lonesome Rock: light, and your journey.

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