Tasting Notes: Pineapple, Hazelnut, Tobacco
RAMNATH ESTATE is in Tableland, a region of Trinidad with a rich legacy of being a major producing zone for the most delicious pineapples in Trinidad. By extension, everything planted in Tableland seems to taste that much better. The landscape is a beautiful area of the countrywith lush rolling hills that houses many hardworking farming families who have made up the population there over the decades. Vish Ramnath, better known as G, comes from a family of hardcore farmers. He is only 48 but has an impressive record of farming, including everything from forest trees to animal rearing. In true farming family style, he has learned and a comprehensive, integrated, and practical approach to working the land. On completion of his university studies, Vish went on to work in the oil and gas industry, like so many other young Trinidadian men of his generation, and he excels at what he does. However, his strong ties to, and love for, the land have kept him grounded and still very much involved in agriculture.
Ramnath Estate’s beautiful cocoa fields are an enormous testament to G’s ability and commitment not only to the crop and the sustainable environment in which it is cultivated, but also to his workers who are just as committed to his vision for the land. He has 4 full-time workers who, according to him “have to be chased off the land at the end of the day or else they will keep working”. These men are lively, energetic, and full of local knowledge and skill. They work smart, and they work well. Roughly 10 acres are assigned to each man to manage. With the right combination of skill and scheduling, this is an easy task on a properly run estate. And with the deep-seated motivation that is found in these guys, everything suddenly becomes achievable. Every Saturday, the entire group eats a meal together, prepared on-site by one of them. The atmosphere is one of relaxation after a day’s heavy work, and the menu is always one that will satisfy any hunger. The humility and openness of Vish and his men inspire every time I meet them. Their willingness to always learn more and share what they already know assures me that their commitment to quality work together with good relationships among each other, will ensure that beans coming from this estate will only continue to grow in quantity and quality as the years go by.