The New Wines

Awhile back, I shared the unfortunate story of how my family’s wine business had been usurped by an unsavory investor whom I had dubbed “The Onceler,” after Dr. Seuss’ famously greedy villain from the cautionary tale, “The Lorax.”


Today — many months and several legal actions later — I have the pleasure of writing a new story. And introducing our new family winery, Bruce Patch Wines. More

Russian River’s Once-ler & a Phoenix from the Ashes

One of my favorite books as a child — and subsequently an adult reading to my own children — is Dr. Seuss’s cautionary tale, “The Lorax.” A parable about greed and environmental indifference, it concludes with the main character, the Once-ler, having followed his insatiable greed as it plowed through a forest of Trufula Trees, alone in his Lerkim beneath the “smoke-smuggered stars,” wallowing in regret.

What follows is, too,  a cautionary tale about entering into deals with the devil, as well as a touching tome on the triumph of persistence and good over evil.

Or, maybe it’s just a shitty story with a happy ending.

Dr. Seuss' Onceler, lurking in his Lerkim

Dr. Seuss’ Once-ler, lurking in his Lerkim

Many years ago, my mother moved from suburban southern California to the northern California woods — taking along with her, her music industry boyfriend. More

In Vino Veritas

As many of you know and some have tasted, my family has a wine business. Specifically, we make a zinfandel called Wine Guerrilla.

Forestville from the Wine Guerrilla tasting room

Downtown Forestville from the Wine Guerrilla tasting room

It began as a project of my mom’s longtime boyfriend, Bruce, but soon many of us were involved. Our main contribution from Southern California, besides being avid proponents and consumers, has been the marketing. The labels feature my artwork and my wife’s graphic design — a brand that we have extended with some success to merchandise, marketing materials and promotions. More

The American Series, Pt. III — The Crab Feed

On the east coast, you have clam bakes. I’m jealous of you. In Alaska, you have salmon bakes. And I’m jealous of you, too. But on the West Coast, we have crab feeds. And you are jealous of us.

Sure, our friends around Baltimore will point out that they, too, have a crab tradition — spending frustrating hours picking and sucking miniscule bits of meat out of piles of Old Bay-seasoned blue crabs. But to those of us in the West, used to big mountains and wide open spaces, that’s the equivalent of eating a meatball when you could have a rib-eye. I’m talking about beautiful, abundant Dungeness crab, pulled from the Pacific bursting with snow white meat. Up where my mom lives in Sonoma County — where some of the best crabbing waters are — you’ll see signs during crab season inviting you to local crab feed fundraisers. $15 for all you can eat. That’s my kind of community event. More