3123-1: Inyo

The harvest happens on a huge desert ranch run by a good friend.

“The harvest happens on a huge desert ranch run by a friend of our head wilderness perfumer, Hall Newbegin. He’s happy to have us come and prune them a couple times a year.”

“Every harvest is different, because we’re in slightly different spots each time. Plants growing in red rock soil are going to be a little different than the same plants growing in serpentine soil. The season has a huge impact too. Everything is dust-bowl dry in the late fall. They haven’t had rain since April. The ponds are dry, and the plant material just falls apart in your hands.”

“We found a harvest spot down at the bottom of a steep hill. Our truck is 22 years old, and it’s held together by gum and dust. We spent two days loading it with trimmings at the bottom of the hill, and when we were done, it can’t make it up the hill again. Pablo’s gunning the engine like crazy, but it’s just not happening. We’d almost given up when Pablo tries backing it up the hill. Somehow it makes it.”

“Our pick-up had a problem on this trip too. It got stuck in a 4WD low gear. We had to drive it at 35 mph to the closest town with a repair shop. We found this great mechanic who used to work in San Jose. There’s something about how nice these people are—you just don’t see that in the city.”

“Pablo likes to cook. He made clam sauce pasta one night. He also made beef quesadillas and beans. After dinner, the guys drink the beer they call ‘special water.’ Usually Bud Light. That night, we had a campfire in front of the bunkhouse. And we started hearing this snorting out in the woods. Wild pigs. A lot of them. In the morning, the place can be a little bit of a wreck.”

“Because it’s so dry, the trees are oozing with oil. We talked to Josh afterwards, and he said that even after five hours of distillation, this harvest was still giving off oil.”

“We’ve harvested on a lot of ranches, and this is one of our favorites. It’s stunningly beautiful.”