The PRIMA Vini VINE----Black Thumb Farm: A Garden's Tale of Leaks, Weeds, and Resilience

How is Black Thumb Farm? Funny you should ask. Yesterday was the first time this spring we’ve had a chance to spend any significant time out there and it’s clear there’s a lot to be done. Yesterday’s foray was more for triage than to make any actual progress towards getting it ready for summer. We gave it a thorough examination from top to bottom and, at the end of the day, I sat down with the garden to give it some hard truths about its health. ‘Well,’ the garden asked, wringing its hands nervously, ‘how am I doing?’ What could I say? ‘Could be better.’ ‘Give it to me straight,’ the garden pleaded, ‘I need to know.’ I blinked hard. ‘You’ve got leaky irrigation.’ The garden looked stunned. ‘It’s not too bad but it can’t continue this way. The good news is that we know exactly where the leaks are. The bad news is we don’t have a clue how to fix them. We’re going to have to refer you to a specialist.’ Black Thumb Farm sort of sagged and muttered, ‘What else?’ I swallowed hard. ‘You’ve got oxalis.’ ‘Oh crap, is that bad?’ ‘Very. If we’d caught it earlier, we might have stood a chance of stopping it, but the rain and neglect have allowed it to spread. And since you won’t allow any chemical intervention, it looks like surgery to remove all those nasty little roots growing into the gravel path will be required. That’s a hands-knees-and- tweezers job.’ The garden gave off a deep sigh before asking, ‘What else?’ ‘You won’t want to hear this,’ I said, ‘but the old Agave with the twenty-foot inflorescence is as dead as a doornail and needs to be removed immediately. And the daphne and sasanqua? They didn’t make it either. ‘C’mon,’ Black Thumb Farm whined, ‘there has to be some good news, right?’ ‘There is,’ I said. ‘The grape vines in the front look healthy, you’ve had your raised beds dug out and filled with compost and good dirt, and the dead wood has all been cut out of the blood orange tree. It looks much better. And the broken irrigation timer was fixed, so even if it is leaky, you’ll probably survive until the irrigationologist can take a look. The patient, with a long spring of rehab to look forward to, seemed resigned. As for Anne and me? Well, after all the work we did yesterday, the garden advised us to take two Aleve and call it in the morning……


Hey! Please don’t forget about this Wednesday’s tasting in Dublin! Rhone Valley expert Harry Boseman and our own Bruno Walker will be there to guide us through a wonderful selection of wines including not one, but both of Yves Cuilleron’s famous Cote Roties and the sumptuous Les Chaillets Condrieu. Those alone would be worth the cost of admission but the wonderful Chateauneuf du Pape, Gigondas and other wines from further south? Oh, la la! Join us any time between 5 and 7, have a few bites of charcuterie from The Cheese Parlor and have a good time!

Highlight of the Week

The PRIMA Dublin Wine Bar

PRIMA’s Dublin’s Wine Bar is open! Come in anytime between 3 and 6 (7 on Fridays) and 11- 3 on Saturdays to enjoy a nice selection of well-chosen wines by the glass or bottle along with some tasty snacks produced by our friends at The Cheese Parlor in Livermore. Wines change each week and stay tuned for the spring debut of the Dublin Negroni Sbagliato. Bring on the spring weather!


An Evening in the Rhone Valley

This Wednesday, April 19th 5 PM -7 PM

Harry Boseman has forgotten more about the wines of the Rhone Valley than most of us will ever know, and he represents in America some of the top properties in both the north and south of the region: names like Yves Cuilleron, Aleofane, Crous Saint Martin, Reserve Saint Dominique, Fond Crozes, Notre Dame des Pallieres and Clos de Lumieres. Join Harry and PRIMA’s own Bruno Walker at PRIMA Vini Dublin this Wednesday evening, April 19th as they open for us a broad selection of some of the most tasty wines you’ve ever had the pleasure of trying!.

PRIMA’s Wines of the Week


2022 Schlosskelleri Gobelsburg ‘Cistercian’ Rose, Austria 

2021 Flowers Chardonnay, Sonoma Coast Estate

2020 Flowers Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast Estate

2018 Agricola Tiberio ‘Archivio’ Montepulciano d’Abruzzo 

The 2019 Barolos from Paolo Scavino

The amazing 2019 Barolos are coming soon! Fasten your seatbelts because it’s a fabulous and unique vintage; one that, paradoxically, will appeal to both lovers of cooler, more classic harvests and lovers of the fruit and power that comes from the warmest. The Scavinos, as usual, made bellwethers- a series of distinctive, really beautiful wines that will, most likely, wow the reviewers while showing the amazing diversity of their holdings which are some of the broadest in Barolo. The wines will arrive in May. This is a reservation form. We’ll collect payment when they actually arrive and are allocated.