Covering cannabis at the top of the line in quality, and all within the journalistic side of the cannabis business has certainly opened my taste-buds to a broad array of flavors and ‘terroir’ that I thought only existed in the wine world. It’s truly eye-opening to imagine all that time that I spent tasting fine wine growing up, only to discover in later years a much broader array of flavors like wine, inherent to cannabis. I discovered many similar attributes to fine wine, and vice-versa. Descriptors such as crushed minerals, fruit salad, pine forest, sap, salt-slicked could all mean different impressions of fine wine from around the globe. Now imagine taking those same and even more descriptive language when it comes to cannabis tasting notes. Such as the new catch phrase, terpenes. Imagine my delight to fall into a series of samples from Bayflower in San Francisco. Not that I was in San Francisco, (I wasn’t), but close enough in Eureka (a few hours up the coast), is where I experienced their own unique terroir; quite literally, the taste of the place. Here I had in at my disposal some of the most gorgeous locally grown, (legally, of course) cannabis. And suddenly as if by osmosis I had several lovely new samples from Bayflower! Wonderful! Thank you!
From their Leafly site:
Bayflower™ is a brand of cannabis products packaged and distributed with the consumer in mind. No more do we as consumers have to accept the producer-driven market of yesterday, we call the shots. With Bayflower, you can count on the fact that each product has been through our rigorous quality control standards and packaged with love just for you!
So I had an immediate need to taste their wares and I was immediately taken by their sense of place inherent in every sniff of their carefully pruned flowers. The one in the batch of many that stood out to me was marked simply, “In the Pines” grown by Kenny Creek Farms. This cannabis farm was chosen for their utter attention to detail and one little secret that I just discovered from their website. That is, quite simply, their focus on terroir. You see, this is wine country. Mendocino is famous for their rocky soil and pure water that gushes from the earth and deposits nutrients into all the living things. One of these living things that grows incredibly efficiently here are the vast stands of Redwood trees. I’ve grown to detect this pine sap quality in the wines that I love to drink from this region. The notes of roughly crushed stones and dark red soil spun from organic materials. The technique known as “Dry Farming” is very popular here, as are organic and Biodynamic growing methods in viticulture. There is some seriously creative cannabis growing methods that remind me very clearly of fine wine propagation. These modern, yet grounded in history techniques are making their way through these hills and valleys deep in what was formerly Wine Country. You see, Mendocino is famous for great California Wine but extreme development pressures, meaning there is more money to be made, at least right now in cannabis, and this becomes a determinate within the family farming eco-system. Why should cannabis be any different than growing grapes for wine? And at the ultimate side of the equation, there has to be something in life worth aspiring to.
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The exceptionally high quality, cannabis strain, “In the Pines” from Kenny Creek Farms blasts me into a place that I’ve never been. Just stuffing my nose into the glass jar, long depleted of its lush, gently dried flowers makes for a journey into the pine forests. I can smell crushed pine needles along with oozing dollops of sap that greet my nasal passages with glee. There are crushed stones that jump into my mind as quickly as the Cyclone careens down the tracks in Coney Island. Then more pine needles come into view, this time enrobed in dark bitter chocolate, the sap sticking to your fingers and into your memory. Under foot there are fall leaves that rustle and shake with each pensive step as they crush against your feet. The aroma of these leaves releases a scent of the forest and touches of what we call in the wine world, forest floor. There is ample “Forest Floor” in each sniff of “In the Pines” and it greets the nasal passages with alacrity! Of all the strains that I tried from Bayflower, this one has stuck within my memory in a way that the others didn’t. Now, weeks later the sticky pine sap aromatics that have adhered themselves to the sides of the vessel. Each sniff brings contentment and comfort. No, it’s not like smoking a “story stick,” but in a pinch the pinene terpenes bring delight and happiness with every measured inhalation. It’s quite amazing that a simple inhale can unlock such deep inner thoughts and dreams.
That’s California Cannabis for you!