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Neyers Vineyards Bruce's Journal

A Great Holiday Deserves a Great Meal

By Bruce Neyers

Tuesday 14th June, 2022

I’ll come right to the point: my favorite holiday of the year is Father’s Day. It’s coming up on us soon, and I’m looking forward to it. Barbara has already told me of her dinner plans, but more about that later.

We’ve been making a big deal about Father’s Day at the Neyers house for many years. On my most memorable one, our kids planned a surprise event. It began that morning when Mike and Ali suggested I take them to a local golf course so they could practice hitting golf balls. While puzzled, I couldn’t refuse, but they were only getting me out of the house so Liz and Barbara could set the stage. When we returned, Liz met us at the front door with a roll of tickets. ‘Welcome to the First Conn Valley Monty Python Film Festival’ read the sign over the door. They handed me a garish, hand-lettered ticket, and I went inside. Ali was in charge of snacks — popcorn, peanuts, candy, and lemonade, while Mike set up each of our three TV’s with a different video. I sat by the closest TV and began to enjoy some popcorn while watching ‘Monty Python’s Life of Brian.’ Within minutes, I was directed to another room by Ali where they were showing ‘Monty Python and the Holy Grail.’ “Come quick, Dad,” she said. “It’s the ‘Bring out Your Dead’ scene with the wheelbarrow.” By the end of the afternoon, we had watched all three films. I was amazed at how much my kids had memorized. They could have voiced the entire dialogue without notes.

There won’t be a film festival this year, and the dinner crowd will be smaller, but we’ll still have a great meal and some terrific wines to accompany it. Barbara will grill fresh Colorado lamb chops over Mesquite. She’ll make some thinly-sliced potatoes, fried in oil in a cast-iron pan, in the fashion of a Potato Galette. It’s a dish she learned years ago from Maggie Brunier, mother of Daniel and Frédéric Brunier of Domaine Vieux Télégraphe. We enjoyed it many times sitting around Maggie’s table in the south of France. With the meal we’ll have a magnum of 2006 Neyers Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon served alongside a magnum of 2005 Ch. Lynch-Bages. I like to compare the two.

The highlight of the meal will be Barbara’s Pecan Pie. She’s reluctant to talk about desserts, but she spent a year as the pastry chef at a local restaurant, and she’s more than pretty good at it. On Father’s Day, I have some influence, and her Pecan Pie is a favorite. Moreover, I enjoy a glass of red wine with it. The recipe is below.

We’ll start our meal off with a bottle of 2018 Neyers Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon. We just began to ship it, and it’s a real triumph for Tadeo. The 2018 growing season was long and chilly, so we have excellent color in the wine. There’s ample fruit acid, so I’m looking for long aging. The wine is balanced, with neither too much fruit or tannin, and it has a range of exotic flavors that include cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, and ripe berries. There’s an attractive smoothness to the wine, which I think is due to vine age. The 2018 harvest was the 24th anniversary of the vineyard, and the vines are now old and gnarled with thick trunks and all the trappings of age. A bottle of this Neyers Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon will be an attractive addition to your dinner table and your personal wine cellar. Wine is always a welcome Father’s Day present, even without a film festival.

We don’t just grow grapes at our Conn Valley Ranch. Barbara has a great touch with flowers; examples shown are Bearded Iris and treasured Chicago Peace Rose.


Pecan Pie Recipe


  • 1 9-inch pie dough rolled out
  • 3 cups pecan halves
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup white granulated sugar
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter melted and cooled
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon Diamond Crystal Kosher salt


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Gently line pie pan with rolled out pie dough leaving a 1-inch overhang. Fold overhang under itself to form a uniform rim. Press the edges with either your fingers or a fork to decorate the edge. Set aside in the refrigerator.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk eggs, corn syrup, sugars, butter, vanilla extract, and salt until smooth. Fold in pecan halves.
  4. Pour mixture into chilled pie crust.
  5. Place pie plate on a baking sheet. Bake until filling is set in the center. Approximately 50 to 60 minutes.
  6. Cool pie in plate to room temperature before serving, approximately 5 to 6 hours.
Looking northeast Conn Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Looking northeast across our Conn Valley Cabernet Sauvignon vineyard in early May. We have just made our first pass with the disc, and our first run at manual shoot removal, so the age of the vines is more apparent. These vines were planted in 1994 by David Abreu using Thorvilas plant material budded onto 3309 and 110R Rootstock. This year, the vines are 28 years old.

Bearded Iris

Chicago Peace Rose

Neyers cabernet sauvignon ranch label 2018

Cabernet Sauvignon Neyers Ranch

Mesquite grilled Colorado lamb chops, medium-rare as Barbara prepares them. We enjoy them with Cabernet Sauvignon, Left Bank Red, Sage Canyon Red, Mourvèdre or Grenache.