Two months ago, Andy Beckstoffer's Bourn vineyard was full of fruit - old, hearty Cabernet and Petite Sirah in what's better known to some as part of the Haynevineyard.
Beckstoffer - Napa's most famous vineyard owner - said when he bought the parcel in December 2010 he was "honored and proud" that the Hayne family, whose ancestors acquired the land when Ulysses S. Grant was president, were entrusting it tohim.
Last week, the familiar wooden sign proclaiming "Beckstoffer Vineyards" sat in front of an empty dirtfield.
"He pulled it out the day after he picked it," says William Alston "Otty" Hayne, who farms the remainder of his family'svineyard.
Of Beckstoffer's 13 1/4 acres, nearly eight were Petite Sirah - but Beckstoffer clearly had Cabernet in mind when he made a deal for more than $300,000 per acre. He says that he couldn't find anyone to take the grapes at prices necessary to cover hiscosts.
For more, see: Saving California's heritage, one vine at a time