Sun 1 Aug, 2004 04:04 pm
Recently I visited the Niagara region and stopped in at one of the many wine estates. Its possible to take a tour of their premises to understand the process of making wine, enjoy a wine-tasting, shop in their boutique and have a plein air lunch overlooking the vinyards..... live music is
also often available on the weekend, blues, jazz, classical......Have you visited a wine estate? Do tell.
Yes, shepaints, because California is full of them. I enjoy them not only for the chance to taste the wines, but because I like vineyards in general and I often love the different buildings and the landscaping around them. And I usually like the people involved in running the vineyard and the tasting rooms. Oh, and the cookbooks and winebooks and glasses that are sometimes for sale..
Fetzer in Hopland, California was a nice place for me recently - back several months ago when I had a serious eye operation in Santa Rosa and needed a ride to my home five hours drive away from where I was staying, that friend drove me to the Fetzer Vineyard from there, and then another drove down and met us and drove me back north. In the meantime, we all had a delicious lunch and a fine time "transferring the body". I ended up buying the first friend and I big gardening hats and the second friend a set of glasses, as a thank you and souvenier of the day. It all made a medical excursion into a good memory.
I have another great memory of driving into a gravel yard outside a stone building with a chimney lilting smoke on a cold day in March in the Chianti area of Tuscany.. around Panzano on route 222 specifically. That was the Montigliari vineyard, and the meal we had there was one of the nicest of my life, simple, but perfect, in a big room with great wood tables and a roaring fireplace.