Giving Thanks

November 19, 2020

Amidst the challenges that 2020 has brought with it, the Trefethen family has made time to practice gratitude.

This year has been full of unexpected challenges. Behavior has changed on a global scale as individuals, families and communities have grappled with various disruptions. Now, more than ever, there is value in maintaining the traditions that bring us joy and connect us back to what matters most. 


As Trefethen’s harvest wrapped up in mid-October, vintner Hailey Trefethen once again found herself preparing for her annual end-of-harvest speech to the vineyard crew. While this year there was no mariachi band or dancing as in years passed, Hailey maintained her own tradition, expressing her sincere gratitude for the team’s hard work.


“After such a busy harvest period and with Thanksgiving around the corner, this time of year always offers a moment of relief, when we can finally stop after the sprint that was the growing season and reflect on all we have to be thankful for. For me, this starts with giving thanks to our dedicated team, and for all the incredible work they have done over the last 9 months leading up to harvest and then every day during harvest itself, when we often start the picking as early as 2:00AM!” she shares.


With general anxiety at an all-time high and a plethora of problems for people to worry about, now is as good a time as any to take inspiration from the shift in seasons and incorporate the practice of gratitude into your day-to-day life. Benefits include feeling more positive emotions, sleeping better, expressing more compassion, connecting to others more deeply, and even having stronger immune systems. It need not be reserved for special occasions like Thanksgiving: reflecting on what you have to be thankful for on a regular basis can significantly increase well-being and satisfaction. With this in mind, and with the season of reflection upon us, we chatted with Hailey and Lorenzo Trefethen about how they practice gratitude and the value it brings to their daily lives.


As young siblings, Hailey and Lorenzo took their first lessons from the Trefethen farm itself. Up through today, one of their go-to ways to practice gratitude is to simply take time to appreciate the beauty of the natural world. Gaze up at the sun, smell the fresh air, take a walk in nature. Hailey adds that fall is a particularly special time of the year on the estate. “We get the first rain and the first cold nights and the vineyards change into a spectrum of autumnal shades. It’s so beautiful. The smell of that first rain – the petrichor – is a pleasant, earthy scent that connects you to the nature around us.”

Besides nature itself, Lorenzo and Hailey also attribute their appreciation for the land to the people that toil upon it. “I think when you grow up on a working farm and witness the seasonal cycles, you gain an inherent appreciation for all the hands that it takes to get food or a bottle of wine to your table,” explains Lorenzo. 


According to him, what makes Trefethen such a special place is the pride the team shares, knowing their collective work creates such great things from scratch – whether that’s crafting a bottle of the finest wine or growing a pumpkin from a small seedling in the soil. 


“We don’t shine the spotlight on any one person, because everyone plays a hand in creating. That’s why there’s so much power in our estate-grown philosophy,” expands Lorenzo. “We can achieve incredible things, make incredible wines, only through our collective work and I am so appreciative to be a part of this special company. That feeling is always reinforced when I encounter one of our crews working the vineyard.  You can literally hear them, singing and laughing, before you can see them.”

As a close-knit, food loving family, Thanksgiving is a particularly treasured occasion for the Trefethens. In keeping with tradition, each Thanksgiving the Trefethen family goes around the table and expresses what they are thankful for. Hailey says,: “It’s easy to get caught up in the last few months of the year and lose perspective. Thanksgiving always helps us take a break and think all the way back over the year to remind us of how much we have accomplished and to acknowledge all that has passed.”

Hailey says: “It’s easy to get caught up in the last few months of the year and lose perspective. Thanksgiving always helps us take a break and think all the way back over the year to remind us of how much we have accomplished and to acknowledge all that has passed.”


Outside of Thanksgiving traditions, there are many different ways to introduce practicing gratitude into your day-to-day lives. After all, while Thanksgiving put a date on the calendar for reflection, gratitude throughout the year can help us keep centered and grounded. It is an antidote to fear, scarcity, and feelings of not being in control. For some, this might mean meditation and, for others, maybe just paying other people compliments.

Hailey recommends practicing yoga. “I’ve found yoga always lifts my spirits – especially during difficult times. There is always a moment at the end of my practice when our yoga teacher asks us to think of one thing or person that we are especially grateful for. Lately it’s been my baby boy Gus – to have this smiling little bundle who is totally unaware of the stresses of what’s going on in the world. It warms my heart to cherish his purity!”


Lorenzo smiles and agrees: “If there’s any lesson I will be taking away with me as we wrap up 2020, it is the power and importance of family and caring for one another. Becoming a father and having baby Zora in my life has brought this home for me in a primal way.”

Another practice that Hailey has found helpful is keeping a positivity journal, where she jots down at least one thing she is grateful for on a daily basis. “I’m not perfect and I don’t do it all the time, but if you start your day like that, it really does change your mindset,” she adds. 


“However you do it, whether it is a daily meditation, a journal, or a once a year dinner, put something on the calendar to practice gratitude,” ends Lorenzo. While at times it might be hard to remain optimistic and 2020 has by no means been a carefree year for any of us, there is something to be said for looking at your (wine) glass half full. By incorporating the practice of gratitude into your regular rituals, you can learn to be more present and to enjoy every moment. 


From the Trefethen family to yours, we hope you have a joyous holiday and celebrate what matters most.


More from the Journal

See All Posts