Warning: SPOILERS for Star Trek: Lower Decks Season 3, Episode 1 – GroundedEnsign Brad Boimer’s (Jack Quaid) family in Star Trek: Lower Decks owns their own vineyard and makes a hilarious, alternate product to Jean-Luc Picard’s (Patrick Stewart) wine. Star Trek: Lower Decks season 3 picks up where the season 2 finale cliffhanger left off: Captain Carol Freeman (Dawnn Lewis) was arrested by Starfleet and accused of blowing up Pakled planet. Ensign Beckett Mariner (Tawny Newsome) mounts a rescue effort to prove her mom’s innocence; naturally, Boimler is her first recruit among the Lower Deckers, and Beckett finds Bradward toiling away at his family’s vineyard.
The Picard family vineyard was first seen in the Star Trek: The Next Generation season 4 episode, “Family.” After he was reclaimed from assimilation by the Borg, the emotionally wounded Captain Picard returned home to La Barre, France. Jean-Luc was able to heal thanks to finally reconciling with his estranged older brother, Robert (Jeremy Kemp), who remained behind and tended to the family business of making wine and Robert always resented Jean-Luc for joining Starfleet instead. In Star Trek Generations, Jean-Luc learned that Robert and the Picard family tragically died in a house fire. Decades later, Jean-Luc took up the family business of winemaking and oversaw Chateau Picard after he resigned from Starfleet, as seen in Star Trek: Picard seasons 1 and 2.
Amusingly, the Boimlers in Star Trek: Lower Decks may own their own vineyard, but they don’t make wine. Instead, they make raisins under the brand name Boimler Family Farm Raisins. Like Jean-Luc, Brad resents the family business and left it to pursue his dreams of joining Starfleet. In Star Trek: Lower Decks season 3’s premiere, Bradward is grounded while Captain Freeman’s trial continues, and he resentfully tends to the vineyard to make the family raisins, with Lower Decks perfectly parodying Picard’s clothes and vineyard from TNG. Boimler is so annoyed by this turn of events, he doesn’t even care about the comely farm maids hitting on him. Naturally, when Brad said his family had vineyards, Mariner assumed they made wine like Picard but, as Boimler complains, “Oh, I wish. No, we Boimlers just dry grapes. Just dry ’em and dry ’em and dry ’em ’til they’re all shriveled and hopeless and stuck on Earth forever!” This echoes how Picard felt about winemaking until he had no choice but to take over Chateau Picard after he ended his own Starfleet career.
Why Picard Still Makes Wine When The Galaxy Drinks Synthehol
Picard still makes wine, and the Boimlers make raisins, because, even in Star Trek’s universe where anything can be replicated, there is still a market and desire for ‘real’ food and drink. Starships like the USS Enterprise and the USS Cerritos come with bars for the crews to congregate in, but they primarily serve synthehol, which mimics the taste of alcohol without the inebriating effects. Still, there is no substitute for organic food and real alcohol. Starship bars do stock actual booze like whiskey and Saurian brandy while Romulan ale is often smuggled aboard even though it’s illegal. No one really likes synthehol, and there’s obviously a demand for Chateau Picard wine on Earth as well as Boimler Family Farm raisins.
The Boimler vineyard is most likely located in Modesto, California, where Bradward said he was from. This tracks since California’s wine country is in the northern part of the state. By Star Trek: Lower Decks season 3’s time frame, circa 2381, Jean-Luc still a few years away from being promoted to Admiral before Picard quits Starfleet after the Federation turns its back on its plan to save the Romulan people from its sun going supernova. There are a couple of decades separating Star Trek: Lower Decks and Star Trek: Picard but perhaps by the early 25th century, you can enjoy a bottle of Chateau Picard while snacking on Boimler Family Farm raisins, if that’s a flavor combination you want to try.
Star Trek: Lower Decks Season 3 streams Thursdays on Paramount+.