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From world-class wine to farm-to-table food, watch as Alejandro Toro and Zooey Deschanel connect with locals in Northern California with hopes of finding truly Meaningful Moments through travel as part of Capital One's Purpose Project, The Series. Sponsored by Capital One.

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Transcript

- Why do you travel? - Is it food? That's the best thing I've had in a long time. - Ah, so fresh. - [Man] Oh my god. - Is it adventure? - Hey! - This is really fun! - Setting sail. - Or is it about making a connection? Y'all are amazing. Each episode we will explore a different city. - And discover the power of purposeful travel to change us. - Look, I did it! I'm Jane Cocksville. - Alejandro Torro. - I'm Noelle Scaggs and this is Purpose Project. Presented by Capital One. - I am Alejandro Toro. I am a traveler and adventurer. Look at those horns! Oh my god. I came from Venezuela seven years ago and I decided to move to a mobile home because I wasn't committed to living in one specific place and ever since I left my home town I feel I am from anywhere and everywhere. The reason why I wanted to come to Napa and Sonoma, a place that just recently went through the wildfires, was because I'm curious how they come back from what they've been through as a community. With Capital One's Purpose Project, I'm excited to explore how people today are creating meaningful moments in their travels. Ever since moving into a mobile home, I've become very mindful of living sustainably and I think that's the reason why coming to Long Meadow Ranch farmstead was so exciting to me. It's beautiful here the weather. - Yeah, I'm really excited to see what they have here. - I'm meeting up with Zooey Deschanel, who not only is an accomplished actress and musician but she's also a sustainable food activist. I'm hoping between her expertise and meeting Kipp and Laddie I'm gonna learn a few things. Tell us a little bit about this magical place. - Our family began Long Meadow Ranch in 1989. - We own the farm and everything that we produce, so we need to figure out how to use it. The restaurants here, our general store and tasting room are here. I'm the farm to table manager, which basically means I'm the liaison between our farming and our cattle company and then the restaurant. - It's great that you have your restaurant and your garden right next to each other because when you are able to eat right next to where you grow, you just understand your food so much better and have so much of a better appreciation for that food. - And it tastes better. - [Zooey] And it tastes better, yeah. - So this is the location that brings it all together? - You understand, yeah. - OK, what should we do now? - Kipp's gonna take you around and show you what's coming out of the garden and then we're gonna have a fabulous lunch. - [Alejandro] Great. - Great. - Before we have lunch, I'm gonna put you guys to work. - OK great. - So we do full circle and sustainable farming. Everything that we grow is used in other bi-products and put back into the system for the greater good, we're not wasting anything and we're producing a higher quality product. - What do you want us to do here? - Alright, we have some kale starts for you guys to plant today. We've been farming and amending this soil for a long time so it's nice and dark and nutrient rich. - OK, yeah you feel it too. - The deeper you get it in there, the easier it is for it to establish its root system, which will allow it to grow faster. - Little guy in there. Alejandro, I'm doing all the work here. - I know, I know. OK, I'll work, I'll work. - So we planted, now let's harvest. So then you can just go through and pick throughout. So I usually just pinch the top off, that stops the plant from going to seed and actually it helps it put energy back into the plant. - It's amazingly fragrant. - Cherry tomatoes over here, we have several different varieties. Hey, Alejandro come and join us. - Thank you, I was feeling all alone over there. - See that some of them are too soft and realize that we can't serve them in the restaurant then that's what goes back to the chickens. The more diverse their diet is, the more complex the egg is. - This looks amazing, right? - Yeah, I think this is perfect. Let's go. So we're gonna do a nice clean salad that just lets the produce of the garden shine. Let's make the rice. Put a little bit of this on there too. Once the rice is nice and creamy, we can add a little bit of this squash puree. - Can I start plating? - Go for it, yeah. Of course. - [Zooey] Ooooh. - [Alejandro] Oh yeah. - [Zooey] So pretty. - [Kipp] There you go, perfect. - Alright, now we're gonna eat, I'm guessing? - Let's go to the table. - OK, let's do that. - Thank you. - Enjoy. - You were saying something Kipp, now that I found interesting that is, other growers around the area wouldn't find it sustainable to have vegetables... - [Kipp] Where we have our gardens? - [Alejandro] Where you have your gardens, exactly. - Because the grapes are a lot more valuable, right? - Exactly, exactly. - And they're a lot easier to manage. - What Long Meadow Ranch represents though is the opportunity to have a full circle of farming, it's not just a monoculture, which grapes are. - The diversity is important, not just for people eating healthy meals that are local but it's better for the grape crop as well? - Precisely, when my husband and I sit down to dinner, everything on our plate is something that we grew, we raised and then what do we have in our glass? Some beautiful wine that we made. - Thank you so much for introducing me to this face of Napa that I just didn't know. - Absolute pleasure. - You're welcome. - Thank you so much for having us, this was a great experience. - This was wonderful to have you here and be able to share our bounty, thank you very much. - [Kipp] Thank you, thank you guys. - I'm capping my first day off with some kayaking along the Napa river and I'm meeting Drew. Drew has lived here his whole life and made it his mission to preserve and educate people about the river through his company the Napa Valley Paddle. - And we're off. - Do I have to work any? - As much or as little as you like. - You know I always heard of Napa as a wine region but I never really thought about its connection with the water. - I mean its world class wines, it's an international destination these days but growing up it was nothing like it is today. - [Alejandro] Oh yeah? - Produced leather for major league baseball mitts and luxury trim for Ford Motor Company. You know it was once a derelict river. My father really championed this living river concept. It was a $400 million restoration project and it reconnects the river to its natural river contours and as if man had never occupied the reaches of the river at all. - OK. - It's a very hopeful story, people that have lived here have watched it go from this mudflat to this rich wildlife experience. All in like ten years. It was my father's legacy and it's grown up all around us. - I've been really impressed with Napa, it's been amazing to see how, because of that same love of the land, everybody is working together, just keeping the land safe and pure. - And it's a great community. - Well I live in a mobile home so, I almost wanna bring it up here and park it for a couple of months and then just see what happens. - We can help you with that, you know. - Boom, we're here, alright. What Drew's family have done for this river is so impressive. I really get that sense of pride he has for this area and keeping it healthy for generations to come. - Cheers. - Cheers. This is one of the best oysters I've ever had. Thank you man. Driving around Sonoma, I've been able to see the devastating impact this fire had on this community. You see homes burned down, you see cars that are still pretty much melted. But then, it's amazing to see all the new construction that's going on. They are pretty much rebuilding their community. And in that same spirit of rebuilding, today I'm checking out From the Fire, an art installation where local artists transformed some of the wreckage into works of art. I'm also meeting Gregory Roberts, a sculptor who founded the Sonoma Ash Project, to learn about his work and how art has helped this community. Hello sir. - Hey Alejandro. - And this is where all the magic happens? - This is where the Sonoma Ash Project started. Right after the fires, I had put out a post, asking people to donate ash. The ash would then somehow be used in a ceramic piece that would then be given back to the home owner. So that ring, that's the ash. - Oh, wow. - So that's basically what's left of their home. - Wow, and I'm holding it, right now. Wow, that's amazing. - I have a whole book there of letters and cards and it's been really remarkable. - I see here, people talking about how they had nothing left and now you're making something out of nothing. I'm honestly getting emotional reading these letters. I can imagine how much this means for the people receiving it but what has it down for you? - This kind of community-based work changed the way I look at the purpose of art is, which is really about being in dialogue with the community in terms of the healing process. One of the important things is not actually being faced with it every day, which is why I put the ashes on the inside and so you can put a lid on it. That way, when you're ready, you can sort of visit your house. That's how you learn to live with grief. - Is it possible for me to see the process of how this happens? - Absolutely. Go ahead and spin. You're not driving a car. So no starting and stopping. Faster. - Argh, OK I lost the sponge. Faster, faster. - OK. - And then with pressure. - Is this what I want to do? - My god, you're too strong. Slow down just a little. - I'm going too fast? - Oh my god. - Be honest with me, Gregory, how am I doing here? How long til I'm as good as you? - About 35 years. - OK. It's truly inspiring to meet people like Gregory, someone who is finding beauty in a tragedy and showing us how art can help heal a community. Through his art Gregory is teaching people to let go. And that is my pot. - And that's your pot. - Alright. Thank you so much. - Absolutely. - I'm in wine country and I'm finally on my way to my first winery, Garden Creek. I'm excited to meet the owners Justin and Karen who have lived in this community their whole lives and have built a multi-family tradition on their vineyard. Hello. - Welcome. - Hi there, welcome. - What's going on here? - Making wine. - What part is this exactly? - This process right now is fermentation. We have our large fermentor here which is about six tons of cabernet, just like so. - Oh, wow, OK. - You can taste it if you'd like. - Is this wine ready to go? - No, maybe in another year and a half it'll be ready. - Oh, wow. - So we're in the middle of punching down. Everything in a wine, meaning the weights and the color, it's in the skins and the seeds. This is called pumice, after we're done fermenting, we'll take the pumice and we will trailer it right out into our field and create compost piles. It's a bit of extra work but what we're trying to achieve is something that we can put back into the earth with nutrients. - Which will in turn feed the vines, which in turn makes more grapes, so it's this full circle that comes all the way back. - [Alejandro] How long have you been making cabernet here? - Nearly 20 years. - I was born and raised here on the ranch, Karen emigrated here from Sweden when she was four years old. - So you are second generation here of winemakers? - Yeah, the people part of sustainability is incredibly important. - The same hands have tended to these vines since the day they were planted. - [Alejandro] Oh wow. - We'd love to introduce you to our guys that have been here for four generations, they're the backbone of what we do here. Fidel Gonzales, her father, started working with my dad, and Fidel brought his six sons up from Mexico. - They came up when they were 17 or 18 years old and they have only lived and worked on this ranch. They're our employees but I can say it absolutely feels like family. - I thought being at a vineyard would be just about great tasting wine, but learning more about how sustainability is as much about the process as it is about the people behind it has got me thinking about this differently and now getting the opportunity to meet and spend time with the Gonzales family who have helped build this place, it's definitely full circle farming. - Salut. - Yeah. - Salut. - Salut. - As the end, the finale, to the season, and we're blessed to have you here with us. - I don't know if Dagoberto shared with you that his son, well one's in university. - But he's the first in your family, yeah? To go to university? - Any good? - Ever since I moved here I've been in the search of finding where I want to throw my roots. And I'm still in the search and that's why I live in a mobile home because I don't visit places I live in places. - Absolutely. - And I really try to connect with people, with food, with nature, and it's inspiring to see how you can actually find your home outside of your birthplace. You know? - Absolutely, yeah. - My last stop today is a little unexpected and something I never even knew existed here in Sonoma, Safari West. So yes, I'm going from vineyards to wild animal sanctuary. So what is the mission here? - Well, you know, the purpose honestly is getting people inspired about wildlife. - How many animals do you have in here? - Maybe in and around 900 right now. What we do is breed wildlife so when you go to other zoos, you can find animals that were potentially born here. - Oh, big stripey things. - Big, stripey things. - Oh wow, look at those horns, what purpose do those horns serve? - None. - None? Man, these are impressive. - We live in a world where wildlife needs us more and more every day, to have a platform like this to talk to people is really important. - I'm so grateful for this experience, I love animals and I love places like this, that are trying to teach us to be more mindful of our impact on this earth and on other animals. - Alejandro how are you? - Good, good, how are you? - I'm Peter Lang, I'm the owner here. You been enjoying yourself up here? - Oh my god, so much. I'm hearing all these animals, I don't feel like I'm in California. - It's not California sounds, that's true. We've emulated an African experience. Almost every animal we have is part of a species survival program. We have, I think, three species of animals here that are basically extinct in the wild. - Wow. I do have another question. I was in the Sonoma Museum and I saw a hose, and I read your name, is their a story behind that? - As you're well aware, we had a major fire last year. And I was lucky enough to stay with Safari West after it was evacuated and me and that hose put out a lot of little fires. - You stayed here? - I stayed. Don't confuse luck with expertise. I was very lucky. - Did you lose any animals in the fire? - [Peter] Not one. - So you kept them safe? - Oh yeah, there's no doubt about that. - The world could use a few more people like Peter Lang. To care for something above yourself and want to protect it at all costs, I admire that. And it inspires me to find something that I feel as passionate about. It's my last day in Sonoma and I'm starting it off with a hearty meal. I'm heading to Zazu Kitchen in Sebastapol to meet up with chef Duskie and her husband John, to hear about their cooking philosophy and see how the pros do it. Oh my god. - [Duskie] We're gonna cook you a pig today Alejandro. - Right, I see that. - This little piggy went to market. - And never came back. - No. - There is absolutely no bad part on a pig. - OK. - You can eat everything. - You know, for a while, I started eating vegetarian. Because I didn't agree with the whole system of how you get your meat. And then I started understanding that, if you actually farm it sustainably it makes more sense to eat meet. - That is exactly what we stand for. We believe in a great life and one bad day. And so, we have all of our cooks see that last day so that they understand they can't burn things and then it's our job to use every part to respect the life given. - Do you serve mostly locals here? - There are tons of local farmers and winemakers that come and eat with us. Today, we actually have two local winemakers coming to meet you who lost their wineries in the fire. - Did it also affect you? - We were evacuated at our home. - We just drove to the restaurant and sort of opened up the doors. - We fed over 35,000 people in the two weeks after the fires. - Wow! - With a lot of other chefs. - Yeah, yeah, we were lucky, we did not lose our home. But 6000 people did. Today, I'm gonna show you pork belly two ways. I like that you're holding my plate. And then that's ready to go out. - This will go in the middle so it's closest to me. - Little bit of bacon for you? - Good ingredients make good food. I don't mean to bring it all back but, what did you lose? - Well we lost everything, the estate burned down, the winery where I made the wines burned down and we'd just finished 2017 harvest so we lost all of the wine from that vintage. - We broke ground two weeks ago on rebuilding our tasting room and event center. - Just two weeks ago from today? - So we are rebuilding and that for me, is all about the community. Because it's a loss, not just for us, it's a loss for our community and they want to see you coming back. - Out of the tragedy it's really brought the community back together. - That's exactly right, it's all about the community. I mean, how many dinners did you guys cook? - Oh yeah. Thousands. - I heard about that, that was insane. Did you also have a property that was affected? - The fire burned through one of our wineries, burned a barn and some buildings and stuff like that. The landscape, the winery survived, I personally lost my house though. Woke up in the middle of the night, also my wife screamed, she smelt smoke, looked out the window and the entire horizon was on fire. In 15 minutes my house was on fire. I mean, 15 minutes, and I'd say seven of those minutes you're like, is this happening? Is this happening? And three weeks after the fire I'm at the local pub having a beer, talking to the bartender, asked, "Hey, do you have everything you need?" and just kinda off the cuff I go, you know, little things, I don't have a colander or measuring cup and like, oh yeah, OK, the next day I came there, there was a box with everything that I kinda nonchalantly mentioned, everyone on the bar was listening and they went home and they got those things, that's just how this community worked, just everyone was pulling together. And today, it's never been tighter. - I think so, a tighter community for sure. - It's inspiring and it's a rebirth of this beautiful community. - It is. - We're doing great, come back in a year. - Exactly. - It's only fitting that my last stop on my journey be one more vineyard. Ceja Wines is a family run vineyard from humble beginnings. It is one of the few minority-owned wineries in Sonoma and I'm very interested in hearing their family story. - Hold the cluster and you wanna reach to the very top. So hold it from the right and then you want to cut it down, perfect! Perfecto! - Alright. - My family's very humble introduction in the wine industry began when my grandparents emigrated to the US in the early 1960s. Both of my grandfathers settled their roots in Napa Valley. And they started picking fruit, so vineyard workers to vineyard owners, to winery owners in less than 50 years. - That is amazing. - There's this saying in our familia, we don't have blood in our veins, we have wine. So it's a reflection of just the labor of love and passion. - You're the third generation, right? - Yes. - I mean, I'm guessing that you sort of didn't have any other choice? - Our parents were very much wanting us to have our own passions and experiences and that ultimately, for myself, my two brothers, it has revolved around wine, and this beautiful spot where we are able to create a wonderful product. I'm just so proud to be a minority in this industry. Why don't we head over to the production facility so you can see the next process in which we make our wines? - I'd love to. - My cousin Belen is the director of wine production. - OK. - So we have our freshly picked grapes that we're about to process. And where the color comes in the red wine is actually the skins themselves. - [Alejandro] OK. - So that's really the whole point of this, sometimes we still do the old fashioned way where we're using hand punch downs. - Let's uncover this beauty, wooo! - So we have this wonderful punch down device, but I think it would be much more fun to get inside and punch it down with your feet like old school. - First time for everything. - You've never done this? - Shockingly no, especially in a dress. - You guys are naturals. Wow! - Now let's go and taste some of our wine. - Let's go. - Ariel. - I heard you guys had quite the tour today? - Yes, I actually got to do some wine stomping, is it called? - That's right. - One of the things that I found really interesting about learning about your family, each one of you kinda has a specialty? - None of us, were forced to work in the family business, it was all on our own accord and there's historically not a lot of latino vintners and so we're very proud of our history. But it's also important to have people of color in positions of power so that you can inspire other people to overcome obstacles and achieve their dream. - I have to say, honestly, you guys are bad asses. I mean you're amazing, really, well learning about your grandparents and the visions that they had and how you guys right now are taking it to another level. All this is you. This is incredible. So thank you so much for having me here. - Salut! - Thank you so much. - Cheers. - I am so impressed with what the Ceja family have built here, they are just one of the many examples from my trip. There is such a connection to the land, I can really see how the community is built on generations of hard work. And fires and other challenges can't change that. Every time you travel there's a purpose. You might discover it while you're traveling, you might discover it years after you've traveled, but you have to be open, you know, be open to having meaningful connections to creating meaningful moments. I think that's when you find your purpose. And you will grow. This time, I think what amazed me was, you know everybody shared the vision of making the best out of tragedy and that vision was what allowed them to move forward. This land is not only theirs, it's their ancestors, it's also their offsprings, I think that connection to the land is really what makes people care for it and that is what's beautiful about having your roots in one place. You know, I am a traveler because I love to get involved in different communities and live in different places and I know this won't be the last trip I make to this place. Definitely coming back.

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