Saying Goodbye to a Good Friend

Our friend, Donna Brandt
Our friend, Donna Brandt

Life on the ranch has so many colors, most of them bright and beautiful. Every once in a while, though, life reminds us how fleeting it is and what a short time we have to experience and share it.

Last week we lost a dear friend, Donna Brandt. We met Donna and her husband, Ken, at the 2011 annual meeting of the Russian River Valley Winegrowers. Clay and I entered the room, not knowing a soul, and Ken and Donna immediately recognized us as newcomers and took us in hand. They introduced us to other growers and winemakers and invited us to share a table with them.

Since that time, we were fortunate to spend a number of evenings together, eating at our favorite restaurants and sharing our homes. Ken and Donna are also wine grape growers, beginning their own vineyard 10 years ago near Sebastopol. Their space is approximately the same size as ours, and they generously spent many hours sharing their experiences with us. We all marveled at not only the similarities of our places, but also the similarities in our lives and our journeys to this place in our respective roads.

We’ve only had Donna in our lives for a very short time but we thank her for the time she gave us. She has made a place in our hearts where she will always be remembered.