Most vineyard managers are passionate about taking walks down their vineyard rows to see how the vines are doing. For Wes Hagen of Clos Pepe Vineyard and Winery, that passion goes beyond viticulture. An avid disc golfer, he has set up a course on the 30 acre Clos Pepe Vineyard.
One winter morning I had the opportunity to play a round with Wes and his Sales Manager Andrew Turner. The two reside on the estate, so it goes without saying that they play disc golf together often.
It was sunny and hit 75 degrees – so the guys were sporting shorts in January. One of the estate dogs, an Australian Kelpie named Max, followed along for the entire game.
The course traverses the entire property, with challenges including a pond, an olive tree orchard and of course vine rows. The most daunting obstacle for me was Gaius, a Spanish Ranch Mastiff who guards the herd of sheep that feast on the vineyard cover crop. He stays close to the herd and lets out a jolting bark if you get close – of course, that is where my disc landed!
I have to admit, after throwing the disc all day and walking a few miles over hilly terrain, I was a little sore in places I’ve never felt sore before.
Clos Pepe Vineyard isn’t open to the public, but you can call ahead to make reservations for a private tour – or if you catch Wes on the right day, a round of disc golf!