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Visiting Stan and Julie Simpson at their mountain vineyard, one senses that they are on top of the world, enjoying the moment as they bask in the beauty around them. It’s no wonder: their single-vineyard Merlot has what it takes to achieve cult status; Stan’s hand-built home reflects his artistic craftsmanship; his vineyard commands spectacular views of the North Bay. Stan began his career as an industrial arts/art teacher in Southern California. He next ran his own cabinet shop in Laguna Beach, from which he designed and supplied furnishings for many up-scale homes in the Orange County area. The first couple of years, an 8’x10’ trailer made do while wells were dug, electricity and telephones introduced, and plumbing installed. In the vineyard, Stan single-handedly tore out the old vines, pulled roots, prepared the soil, and planted four acres of bench-grafted Merlot vines. Between growing periods, he began building a home. Room by room, year by year, with meticulous care given to every large and small detail, a cottage began to emerge. One that illustrates Stan’s guiding principle of not tampering with the inherent beauty of a thing, maneuvering it only enough to allow the beauty to emerge. It is the principle by which Stan Simpson planted his vineyard, built his house, and makes his wine. – Description from milana

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