Sonoma has a very special farm among the vineyards called Charlie’s Acres. It’s a forever home for rescued farm animals and a temporary refuge for animals displaced in the fires in California.
A few weeks ago Michelle Rulmont of La Belle Vie Tours arranged a tour/wine tasting at Charlie’s Acres for wine industry personnel. Michelle has had visitors requesting a vegan wine experience and recently started offering a wine tour tailored to their tastes. Adding Charlie’s Acres to her tours seemed like a natural.
The event began with a tour of the farm led by staff member Kaleigh. We were introduced to roosters, sheep, cows, goats, pigs and one really giant white turkey. My “date” was not quite as embracing of the animals as I was but he did pet one.
Laura Schermeister was in our tour group. We know now she is not only gifted at making wine with husband Rob but she is also a huge pig lover!
Charlie’s Acres is a sanctuary for farm animals but it is also a place to learn more about these animals and about the choice to take them off your dinner plate. Check out their web page – www.charliesacres.org for more information, available tours and volunteer opportunities.
The tour was followed with a tasting of vegan wines from Schermeister and Bouchaine wineries. They were paired with an array of food offerings two of which came from Miyoko’s Creamery and Renegade Food. I’m not a vegan but I will surely hunt down Miyoko’s Creamery’s Black Ash cheese and I can’t wait to try the plant based cured meats created by Iona Campbell, Renegade Food, Inc. again when they hit the market.
Note – I should add, Michelle is one of many residents who regularly volunteer at Charlie’s Acres.