Creators & Canines: Rande Feldman & Luna, Source & Sink Wine
Going to work every day on a new Sonoma wine label3 minute read
Rande Feldman was a journeyman in wine. Born in Chicago, he made his way west, working as a grape grower, winemaker, and cellar master. Then one day, during the 2017 wine harvest in Sonoma, CA, everything changed. He met Aaron Cherny who, as fate would have it, was also from Chicagoland.
Together they schemed to create a new wine label—something to bring their love of Sonoma wines back home. The combination of Rande's skills in winemaking and Aaron's prowess in finance and business planning allowed them to make swift progress. Within 10 weeks, they had secured a processing facility, label designer, licensing, permitting, and grape contracts. Thus, 750 cases of wine later, Source & Sink was born.
Leveraging their unique connections to legendary vineyards, Rande and Aaron focus on reviving neglected, pre-prohibition varietals. And with them, walking the vines each day, is Rande's trusted companion and vineyard dog Luna.
With Source & Sink's second vintage on the way and a new wine club launching in October (follow on Instagram and signup for the newsletter if you don't want to miss out), Rande talks to Harper about how Luna became family and how she developed into a well-mannered off-lease vineyard dog.
We hear Luna is the unofficial mascot of Source & Sink. Tell us about her!
Luna is an 11 year old Australian cattle dog/golden mix. She is extremely obedient, loyal, sweet, coy, and healthy.
What's the story of how you ended up with Luna?
I adopted Luna from the Humane Society in Boulder, Colorado. At the time I was studying at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, CO. Sometimes the right dog finds you.
What training did you do with Luna? In your Instagram stories, it looks like she's off leash a lot. Is that something you worked on specifically?
Luna spent the first few months at home with a large, fenced back yard. She was not crate trained, which I regretted. During that summer, Luna and I moved to Palisade, CO to work at the Colorado State University Research center. This was an 80-acre fenced property with orchards, row crops, and vineyard. She was off-leash all day except when in public. Voice commands, along with treats, helped Luna learn to stay close. Her breed has a high IQ so she caught on quickly. By the age of two, Luna had spent a couple of years in Chicago with my family who ran a doggy day care. At any one time, there were up to four dogs in the home. She was well socialized, walked regularly on leash, and well loved. In 2011, she flew to California to live full time with me.
What's a typical day like with Luna?
She has come to work with me every day since that flight in 2011. Luna wakes up, I feed her immediately, and she's quickly excited to go to "workie." I've converted the back of my (small) SUV into a (large) dog bed. She jumps into the back and lays down until we get to work. Over the past eight years, Luna has been a winery dog, tasting room dog, and vineyard dog. Upon returning home at the end of the day, Luna is fed again and walked afterwards. She loves to lay on the bathroom floor to stay cool.
Is it common to see dogs out in the vineyards? Do a lot of winemakers have dogs?
Yes, but vineyard managers in the area usually farm more than just grapes. On large ranches, especially with livestock, dogs are used as a working animal. Vineyard dogs are common where there is a winery and vineyard located at the same property.
Check out Rande, Luna, and the rest of the crew from Source & Sink Wine at @source_and_sink.