North of the ruddy Golden Gate, past the scruffy, hunched and sea-battered shoulders of Marin where the great, breaking swells of turbulent land sink back into the California dirt and roll gently inland towards the flat and sleeping heartland of America, lies the Russian River valley. Along her banks, on hill and arbor, sprout the veins of Dionysus, knurled tendrils from the stony heart of California. Spring brings the lancet and draws his fiery blood to clot in shade. The fall brings the barber to harvest a flame that licks leaves to amber. That conflagration lies now in pendulous, swollen oak bellies, not extinguished but slumbering on the lees in long, dark granite corridors beneath the Earth, undisturbed but for the vinter’s thief and the rapping of spiders’ legs.