A Reader Writes …

Here’s a letter we were thrilled to receive from reader Richard Hasbrouck in response to Nikki Goddard’s story on Retzlaff Vineyards in our Summer 2019 issue:
Please compliment Nikki Goddard on her excellent heartfelt article about Retzlaff Vinyards, and Gloria Retzlaff Taylor in particular. Bob Taylor and my wife were long-time chemistry colleagues at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.  We resided in nearby Pleasanton, so it was only natural that we became good “friends of the Vineyard.” Over the years we were privileged to enjoy a variety of memorable events at Retzlaff. They ranged from large gatherings of friends and strangers to small family gatherings. The food was always wonderful, and the wine never ever disappointed.
I’ll close by recalling a particularly memorable warm summer evening. We were invited to join Gloria and Bob for supper. We dined beneath old pepper trees that are adjacent to the vineyard. As the evening became darker, I was surprised to see a brightening glow in the Eastern sky. Gradually that glow grew into a brilliant full moon, huge and slowly rising above the distant hills. To say it was a magic moment would be an understatement.
In keeping with Ms. Goddard’s article, that evening was not wasted on Gloria. It became the first of many Full Moon Dinners held at Retzlaff. Over the years Gloria’s vision made it possible for numerous people to gather together for the magic of a full moon rising.
My wife and I are but two, among many, who remember and miss Gloria. The photography and acknowledgement of Bob, the rest of the family, and manager José Hernandez were very much appreciated.
Thank you.
Richard Hasbrouck
Truchas, New Mexico


Gloria’s son Aaron (right), husband Bob (center), and daughter-in-law Salome Garau-Taylor toss the ball for Shadow on the tasting room green. Behind them is one of their certified-organic vineyards. Owls living in the owl box at left help keep rodent pests at bay. Photo by Scott Peterson


Read Nikki Goddard’s story here.
Upcoming events at Retzlaff Vineyards:
Comedy Uncorked
Saturday August 24, Pre-show 5:30–7:30pm: Relax with a glass of wine on the beautiful grounds. Show runs 7:30–9pm
Retzlaff Vineyards
1356 South Livermore Ave, Livermore
An evening of big laughs and fabulous wine on the lawn. Proceeds benefit Open Heart Kitchen, feeding the hungry of the Tri-Valley. Cost: $35. Info and tickets: here
Harvest Wine Celebration
Sunday September 1, noon–5pm
Retzlaff and other Livermore Valley wineries
Wineries celebrate the crush season with wine tasting, arts, crafts, and music. Cost: $40. Info and tickets: here