What is in this article?:
- Farmer’s Fury 2009 Paso Robles, Calif., Cabernet Sauvignon is an excellent Central Coast Cab. However, what’s under the cork is only a small part of this wine story.
- It is a wine with an attitude on the label and a San Joaquin Valley farming heritage dating back more than a century.
THE MEYER CLAN, from left: George Henry Meyer, Charles Meyer, Beverly Meyer, George Meyer with a bottle of Farmer’s Fury wine, and Charlie Meyer.
Just about anyone can make an enjoyable California wine.
A visit to the local supermarket or other wine retailers will verify that. There are endless shelves of the finest California has to offer.
Farmer’s Fury 2009 Paso Robles, Calif., Cabernet Sauvignon certainly fits the bill. It’s an excellent Central Coast Cab. However, what’s under the cork is only a small part of this wine story.
It is a wine with an attitude on the label and a San Joaquin Valley farming heritage in the wine dating back more than a century.
Farmer’s Fury winemaker is 28-year old George Selwyn Meyer, a Marine veteran with two tours of duty in Iraq as a crew chief on a medivac helicopter.
He also is a fourth-generation San Joaquin Valley farmer. His great grandfather, Nebraskan Charles H. Meyer, migrated to Salinas in the early 1900s and grew sugar beets on 40 acres there. Bankrolled by Claus Spreckles, Meyer in 1906 rode a bicycle more than 100 miles from Salinas to Kings County, Calif., in search of farmland to grow beets in the San Joaquin Valley.
George and his brother Charlie now manage the Meyer family farm. It’s headquartered just two miles from where their great-grandfather started farming 160 acres 106 years ago. They grow Pima cotton, pistachios, milo, safflower, pomegranates and grain.
Their dad, Charles Meyer, says he is “retired.” Don’t believe it. He’s around the farm every day and spends considerable time as an outspoken farming advocate. His dad, George Henry Meyer, recently celebrated his 99th birthday and still lives on the farm. He took over the farm from his father in 1942. Charles Meyer came home to farm in 1967, after spending seven years “flying all over the world in the Air Force.”
The Meyer farming heritage is depicted on the Farmer’s Fury label. It is a silhouette of George wearing a wide, flat brim western hat. He is holding his great grandfather’s scythe. In the background is a faint outline of the Coastal Range that runs along the West Side of the San Joaquin Valley.
“The skyline of the foothills in the background is what we see out our back door,” Charles says. “The three bumps in the skyline are the upturned facial profile of what the locals call the Sleeping Giant. My father taught me to drive a tractor straight as a tightened string by driving to the Sleeping Giant using one or the other of the profiles.
“You could call it old-fashioned GPS,” laughs Charles.