We have often said that Realm Cellars is a journey, and we are always just getting there. We always have our eye on the horizon, constantly searching for what we can do better or differently. At the same time, we appreciate where we are and how we got to this point; we celebrate the milestones, both small and large. That’s the genesis of the Journey Wall, an installation in the Library/Tasting Room of our winery.
Eden: “We tossed around this idea for quite a while before it finally came to fruition. We thought about making a timeline but decided that would be too contrived, too museum-like. We wanted a piece that would tell a story about Realm, a conversation starter, not necessarily a history of the brand.”
After noodling it around we decided to dedicate one wall of the Library/Tasting Room to Realm’s journey, filling it with artefacts and keepsakes with personal meaning for our team. We asked Bette Abbott, a Napa-based designer who worked with us on many design projects, to help us conceptualize the installation. To create a “framework” upon which the objects could be displayed, Bette repurposed materials from our Estate, combing through our vineyard manager’s tool shed and collecting old trellis wire (some with tendrils still clinging to the wire), end posts, sheet metal, even yards of jute that had been used for erosion control. Against this backdrop we’ve arranged a transient and sometimes interactive display of photos, vineyard maps, architectural drawings, scribbled notes and other objects that tell the story of Realm. This is a living wall; what is shown this month or year may be replaced by something else next month or year. It is always changing, always evolving. Just like Realm.
Here are a few of the items displayed on our Journey Wall as of June 15, 2020:
A Harvest 2019 T-Shirt: Each year we make T-shirts commemorating the harvest. Everyone at Realm gets one.
Empty 6-liter Bottle of Billecart-Salmon Brut Rose Champagne:
We have a tradition at Realm; if a person is late to a team meeting, that person is asked to bring a bottle of Champagne to the next team meeting. This 6-liter bottle of Billecart-Salmon (one of our favorite producers) came to us via Benoit plus two other team members who arrived late to the previous meeting.
Leonard Cohen’s Live in London Album: Leonard Cohen is one of Frank Farella’s top three artists of all time. When Frank (who developed Farella Vineyard in the 1970s) has a glass or two of wine, there is soon singing and dancing to Leonard Cohen.
Snapshot of Michel Rolland, Andy Beckstoffer, Scott Becker, Benoit Touquette and Juan Mercado at AT&T Park for a SF Giants Game, 2013: This was Michel Rolland’s first baseball game.