If you had told me in January that our little six month adventure to Hawaii would end in a global pandemic, sheltering in place along with 100s of millions of fellow people, day drinking, binge watching, and scrolling News endlessly, I would not have believed you. If you had told me we would be moving permanently to the Island of Hawaii come July, I would 100% not have believed you. There is no place I love more than our world in Kenwood. In Wine Country. But if you’d told me we would be selling Annadel, I might have believed you.
Moving to Wine Country in October 2007 was the most reckless, financially idiotic, and inflamed jump I have ever made in my life. Leaving NASA to become a broke Cellar Rat?? Everyone thought I was crazy. The only person who didn’t was my Mom. And it turned out to be the very best decision I could make. Dean and I met the following Spring and fell madly, instantly in love. Braiding our lives and passions for family, food, wine and travel these past (mostly) wonderful 12 years. But one thing Life demonstrates incessantly is that the only constant is Change.
I want to share Dean’s Letter to our Wine Partners, Friends and Family. I like it best. It sums up the heartache and hope we have for both leaving and releasing Annadel to her future. And for taking our next steps as a family living between the two worlds of Wine Country and the Island of Hawaii.
These are the last photos taken of our family as owners, on the porch we brought our children home to at Annadel Estate Winery. We sold the property in early September and had planned a nice transition announcing the new owners, Dan and Katie. Then the fires started, and we all felt the timing was bad until now when things are finally settling down in Sonoma Valley.
We have deeply appreciated the well wishes during this time, as our hearts were still in Sonoma Valley with our friends and colleagues. The back of Annadel did burn, taking with it three 100 year old plus barns and everything that was in them. All the main buildings and the wedding venue survived. Although our losses aren’t as profound as many, we did lose almost all of the antique motorcycles and our family heirlooms and collectibles. My 1914 Harley-Davidson Motorcycle Cannonball Champion bike was amongst them. From the pictures it has the potential for restoration and Team Vino hopes to run this bike again in the next Cannonball.
We always thought if we sold we’d have this great party with our friends, family and wine country colleagues that have been such a part of this journey. Covid killed that like it has too many people in this country. We wanted to celebrate the new owners and introduce them properly. The next message from our Annadel Estate Winery social media outlets will be from them. I hope everyone treats them as well as they treated us and that the success of this old farm continues.
Lastly, we still have about 5 years worth of wine inventory and will continue selling directly from the winery and our Wine Partners. It will be in coordination with Dan and Katie as they will continue to introduce new wines from Annadel, and Jenna will be running things as usual. We hope to drink wines from the old farm for the rest of our lives and we hope a lot of you continue to do so as well.
In closing, Abigail and I want to sincerely thank all of you for your friendship and love. It was a hard decision to sell, but it was the right one for our family. I always felt as a caretaker of this property, not an owner, and I think I did my job. We secured the permits necessary to continue as a winery, and now Dan and Katie can come in and continue the restoration by investing into the old farm house and making Annadel the Grand Old Dame she deserves to be.
All the best, God Bless and be kind,
Dean, Abigail, the kids and a well fed dog.