When Wine Comes to Town

A Podcast Episode About a Dying Language and What Can Save It

It’s a nearly Pavlovian response for outsiders to describe small town America as idyllic, bucolic, or pastoral.

Immediately, you should be able to conjure up the image of a two-lane road that cuts through an active, but not busy, main street with storefronts on both sides. Of course, the only stop sign in town won’t be too far away — it helps ensure the lifestyle won’t get too fast. At least that’s the case in the Anderson Valley.

Even time, however constant, somehow finds a way to take its time in passing by. Perhaps it’s why the frontier language of Boontling still exists in this Northern California valley just two hours north of San Francisco. But for how much longer depends on how the close-knit community squares up against much larger global forces at play.

It used to be that you could grow apples, herd sheep or fell timber and make a decent living. But not even the town stop sign could slow down the valley’s incoming cash crop of grapes. The valley’s long legacy of logging now takes a backseat to its newer reputation for producing some of the world’s best Pinot Noir.

But how did a tucked-away valley 40 minutes from the Pacific Coast and the main highway all of a sudden become a major wine destination? And what toll did this have on a fractured community just reeling from the Redwood Summer days? And what does it mean for Boontling’s future?

Listen to the Part II of III of this story here:

And if you forgot to listen to Part I, don’t fret, it’s not too late.

As the old adage goes…In vino veritas.


Some Noise is a podcast about the foolish pursuit of life, clarity and context. You can read more about it here.