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Callie Gleason
August 25, 2016 | Marketing | Callie Gleason

Introduction to the Writer

"This just isn't real life," I said to myself.

The New Yorker in me, the fight tooth and nail to get what you want mentality, was still back there somewhere, wondering if happiness could ever be this easy or this frequent. But as I looked out across the pond, out over the valley quieting with dusk, a coy smile formed on my lips.

I found it, it is real, and I can call it home.

For those of you who don't yet know, I recently moved to California from New York City after 5 years of living and working there to take over management of our tasting room, wine club, and marketing. My boyfriend Matt and I knew our time in the city was coming to an end about a year ago but we didn't know where to go from there. How do you leave a place that works so hard to convince you it's the nexus of the entire world? A place that boasts the best food scene, best entertainment, best jobs? But like all things that are too good to be true, being the "best," will always be a subjective mentality.

In case you don't know me from Eve, here I am - at a wedding in New York actually...it's not all bad :)


So like all young people who can't make a decision, we went to South America and backpacked for 100 days.

...And it was awesome.

Sometime in the first two weeks, somewhere in the mountains of northern Colombia looking out over the sea, it settled into me that I was ready for change and that I was crazy not to respond to the call beckoning me westward, to a family business full of beauty and opportunity. 

Oscar's Place, a hostel in Minca, Colombia, in the Sierra Nevada mountains 

And so we did it. And I find myself at the end of a workday looking out over the Santa Ynez Valley softening away from the sun, and I can't believe that I live here. Granted I'm a couple glasses of wine deep (aren't we all?), so perhaps that's feeding some of my disbelief. But there's a difference here: at its best, a couple glasses of wine deep in NYC meant slowing down just enough to feel part of something bigger than myself, but something that I could never really touch or truly understand. 

Here, we are all part of something bigger than ourselves and it's right in front of us every day. 

It's on the ranch watching the vines grow each year, following the fruit's evolution like a child's learning. It's in the winery where the art continues, painstaking and daring. It's in the tasting room sharing the story of how this all comes together, how the labels and blends represent our love and care of a timeless practice. And it's in our living rooms and our kitchens, reminding us that we choose how to live and love and what we create for future generations.

We use the hashtag #wineisart, which at first I thought might be kind of kitschy. But in only a month's time out here, I realize how true it is, how obvious even, and more importantly how connected we all are to something that bridges all concepts of time. A community of people connected to the land, who respect the history of this beautiful art form and revere all the opportunity that the future brings.

Not to mention, people here are just...nicer. My first time at El Rancho, I think 7 people smiled and asked me how my day was! Needless to say at this point, I'm very happy we finally made it out here. And if you ever see me wearing all black walking unnecessarily fast through Los Olivos, just remember, transitions still take time. ☺


Peter Stockmann's Gravatar
Peter Stockmann
@ Aug 26, 2016 at 12:49 PM
Great Job

Sharon IrelandBurke's Gravatar
Sharon IrelandBurke
@ Aug 26, 2016 at 1:01 PM
Nice intro to the writer! Very well written. Looking forward to meeting you in person, Callie!

Jessica cronjager's Gravatar
Jessica cronjager
@ Aug 26, 2016 at 1:12 PM
Great blog, thanks for sharing!

Russo Valenzuela's Gravatar
Russo Valenzuela
@ Aug 26, 2016 at 1:50 PM
Great blog!! Guess I'll meet ya in December.

Niki Gleason's Gravatar
Niki Gleason
@ Aug 26, 2016 at 3:16 PM
Proud mama says way to go Callie goodheart

Uncle Brad's Gravatar
Uncle Brad
@ Aug 26, 2016 at 3:30 PM
Welcome "home" Callie! So many of my friends over the years, who told me they were going to NYC to make their fortune and then leave never were able to escape. They went there expected to need 5 -10 years to make it and then they'd return to Vermont or Whidbey Island and sadly, so many are still there! They were not able to escape! So Congrats to you for making it there and having the good sense to leave! Now... pay close attention to the genius of your papa (business skills are just the tip of that astounding iceberg!) and to the amazing heart behind him, your fabulous ma and celebrate the opportunity to create something amazing with Max (what an artist!) ... and keep writing! Warmly UB

Karen Yonally's Gravatar
Karen Yonally
@ Aug 26, 2016 at 8:23 PM
Enjoyed your blog post…keep it up! We've heard about you for years from your parents and look forward to meeting you in person.

Rose Saunders's Gravatar
Rose Saunders
@ Aug 28, 2016 at 10:58 AM
Well done Callie. Looking forward to reading your future posts!

Michael Young's Gravatar
Michael Young
@ Aug 28, 2016 at 2:42 PM
Callie,. Reading your blog was a pleasant extension to our meeting earlier this month at the tasting room.

Thanks for sharing in such poetic detail your journey home.

Wishing you much success and joy.

Mike and Deeann Young

Chris Cory's Gravatar
Chris Cory
@ Sep 15, 2016 at 6:50 PM
You sound like a great person to bond a bit with! And from my early experience, Refugio wine lives up to its name and the terroir you describe. Go, Ranch!.

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