The Wine Country Online

Winter 2000/2001

Old Olives Along the Highway in Asti

Welcome to issue #5 and a winter focus on olives.

The first vintage of the new millenium is being carefully attended to in the cellers. The work of winemaking progresses as the summer green vines shed their last golden dry leaves. Some glorious fall days are just a memory of picnics past   and the photographs remain to tell the tale of a spelendid light in the vineyards briefly blazing with golds and reds. It is a time in the wine country when we turn our attentions to the olive trees loaded with fruit turning from pale green to ripening red, and a purple so deep it is called black.

The olive harvest coincides with the arrival of the first broad bands of winter rainstorms rolling in from the Pacific Ocean. It is a great time of year to be here. California grey whales also arrive off our beaches at olive harvest time. They are southbound with the warm waters of the Gulf of California and mating season on their minds.

Winter is a season of mixed blessings for Wine Country visitors and locals alike. For sure there ar some truly incredible spectacular clear days interspersed with our season of rainstorms. They come inviting campfire picnics snug in the deep redwoods, or tailgate picnics down to the roaring winter sea. Pack extra sweaters, a windbreaker and umbrella, and you will be ready, rain or shine. If the day happens to be wet or cold you might want to tour some of our favorite fireplaces looking for a cozy drink out of the weather.

This quarterly online magazine of California food and wine arts will be published seasonally, posted on the solstices and equinoxes. We will introduce you year-round to the food and wine artisans, the picnics and the places which make Northern California wine country (and Sonoma County in particular) such a wonderful place to live and visit.

I intend for this fledgling publication to be a conversational and interactive journal of our lives and times in this most scenic and tasty part of the Golden State. It is to this end that I welcome your comments or contribution of words.


Jack Burton
709 Fitch St.
Healdsburg, CA 95448


I would like to thank all the people who have generously given their time and enthusiasm to this issue:

Feature Writing:

    Renee Kiff   Manager, Healdsburg Farmers Market
    Jack Burton   Editor


    Sandra Novia


    Janette Burton   Manager, Jimtown Store


    Penelope La Montagne
    Mark Sargent

    Marci Murphy   Murphy Business Services

HTML and Imaging:
    Jeffrey Kopp

Introducing Mark Sargent

Mark Sargent is an American poet who lives and works on a family farm in the hills outside of Sparti, Greece. This poem is from Mark's lovely handbound volume Paint the Goat, which is reviewed in this issue.


from his skala in the olives
he roars like a lion, a donkey
a just ruptured magpie mad
for the air and release

an ox with a saw
and bad jokes he
pushes himself upon it
grasps the biennial essence
of the bloom the fruit is
where you cut
where you amputate
to redirect the vigor

he's family dammit so
sometimes he works for free
sometimes he shamelessly overcharges
a smoke a laugh   work
work is what you do
you don't have to think about it

From "Paint the Goat"
©1994 by Mark Sargent
Issue #5 Copyright © December 2000 by Jack Burton

While all rights to this publication are reserved, invites you to print a copy or two of any part or all of this magazine for your own personal enjoyment or to pass along to a friend.

If you are interested in using any of the stories, recipes or interviews for re-publication, or for placement in our "Market Square" section, please contact the Editor for rates and details.

(All photos not otherwise credited are by Jack Burton.)