The best image from our California Wine Country tour was not in a vineyard, not in a tasting room, but in a vacant lot in St. Helena, beside the city library and the Robert Louis Stevenson museum. I was sad to see the abandoned, gnarly old vines, looking more like tortured tree trunks or driftwood than anything I would recognize as a grape vine. This one took the shape of a skull, maybe a horse’s skull, with what appeared to be an eye glaring up at me. This year’s new growth sprouted from its forehead like horns, thick as my wrist. The vines were heavy with grapes – blue, amethyst, amber, green – although some were raisins already, some mashed by unseen forces. The message was clear: try a grape at your own peril. I fear for the future of whoever drives the backhoe that uproots this Guardian, this Demonic Troll… beware the uprooted ghost!