The Tasting Panel magazine

November 2012

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MALIBU Gabrielle Harris. The Vine Lady of Latigo Canyon GABRIELLE HARRIS DEBUTS SAGE HILL RANCH & VINEYARDS T he newest label out of Malibu's Latigo Canyon is Sage Hill Wines, from proprietor Gabrielle Harris. Sage Hill Ranch & Vineyard, Malibu Sanity and Dolin Malibu Estate are just three of many small boutique vineyards that have cropped up along the extended Malibu coastline and Santa Monica Mountain range, each making its mark in the business with just one acre of planted vines. "I had no idea what I was getting into," says Harris, who says on a whim she planted 500 vines of Sauvignon Blanc, 300 vines of Syrah and 200 vines of Cabernet Sauvignon on one acre of steep hillside in 2007. "I thought the vineyard would cost me about $40 per vine. One hundred thousand dollars later, here I am back to my farming roots of England." Once a British "Mod" fashion model of the '60s for photographer Helmut Newton and Elle maga- zine, Gabrielle has an impressive entrepreneurial resumé, from pop music publisher, Hollywood set decorator to shopkeeper, restaurateur and competitive endurance horse-rider. However, 60 / the tasting panel / november 2012 now she spends most of her time tending vines, acting as a farm hand and cleaning lady for her bright and airy mountaintop ranch house and vacation rental guest lodge, a popular hideaway for honeymooning couples. "I have seven acres of land here, which I wanted to utilize as much as possible to create income to support this property. I'm fortunate to have a few small rental houses on the land and stables for my horses," she explains. "My barn is now a wine cellar." Now in her third year of production, Harris accepts the fact that it will be a good ten years before she starts to see a return on her investment. Her father, Peter Boumphrey, was a 1948 Olympic Skier who opened his own ski resort, Isola 2000, in the southern French Alps. Prior to that, Boumphrey brokered wine, importing into London from small producers all over France, so it is not surprising that his daughter jumped into the wine business with both feet pointed straight downhill. —Dianne Porchia PHOTO: DIANNE PORCHIA

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