You know what should be a new holiday? Wine grape harvest. Last Sunday, I spent the afternoon (or prevening) watching the sun setting on the oak leaves, basking in the lingering heat while a random breeze danced across the valley. For as far as the eye could see, there was nothing but rolling hills of vineyards.
No, I wasn’t in Napa. I was in a different county altogether. You’ve never really experienced California until you’ve spent an afternoon sitting under an oak tree sipping wine and chatting with friends.
My favorite winery, Wilderotter Vineyard, was having their 5th annual Stomp Party. Sadly, no one was actually stomping on grapes a la I Love Lucy, but we did get a tour of the bottling machine inside the metal building where the wine is made.
Wine events are great because everyone is in a good mood. We sat at a communal table with a guy who was the spitting image of Don Rickles, but epically nicer. We tasted every wine they had to offer, from the Sauvignon Blanc to the Cabernet Savignon. There was even a blend called GSM. It’s Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvedre. SO GOOD! Blends are always my favorite. It’s exciting to see what the winemaker or whatever he’s called, comes up with and how it manifests.
So for a nominal fee, you get to not only taste wines, but have dinner. We weren’t in the vineyard, but were vineyard adjacent. The food was delicious and of course, the wine was great.
Living in Sacramento, I’m lucky. Within an hour’s drive or less, there are so many fabulous wineries. They are run by great people who love what they do and want to share their joy for the grape with you.
Like my roommate says, “The sound of a wine bottle being uncorked is the sweetest in the universe.”