Six of us adventurous souls set out to wine tasting yesterday in near 100-degree heat. Luckily all the wine production areas at the wineries need to be kept cold so it wasn't too bad. They were very different types of wineries. All represented vintners who want to produce Italian-type wines. They get their grape stock from UC Davis. Imported grape plants have to go through a ten-year process before they are sold. The U.S. doesn't want to import anyone elses diseases or bugs.
All of the wineries were only in their second year of production. It takes five years for a plant to produce harvestable wine grapes. The first years they just cut off the grapes as soon as they start to form. This allows the plant to put energy into growing it's root and stem systems. We liked the first one the best, Montoliva. We bought a sampler case and then two extra bottles of Pinot Grigio (a wonderful wine for hot summer days when served really cold). The wine making area is in the basement of his house in his family room. The rest of the wineries were in just about equally small areas. Some of them make so few cases each year that they were out of many of their wines. Most will be harvesting in the next week or so. The vineyard at the left is at Avantgardia. You are looking at the one-acre of grape production they have. We really didn't like the wines but the people were very nice. The husband and wife team do the picking, crushing and all the other parts of getting the wine into the bottle. Wine making at this level is for those who want to work hard.
Then we headed for Tal and Alicia's house to rest a bit before we headed out on their pontoon boat on Lake of the Pines for a dinner of wonderful pork ribs, salad and a dessert called treacle. Kerry really got into the gliding over the water at a nice slow speed that produced enough of a breeze to cool us off so we could drink more wine. The two ladies are Margo on the left and Alicia on the right. Margo was our realtor when we bought our house. She and husband Rick have been our friends ever since. She organizes our tours, Alicia fixed the wonderful dinner and architect Tal skippered the boat. Rick, former Coast Guard, handled the anchor and lines. You ask, what did you and Kerry do? Be very appreciative of everything. Kerry finished off my plate of ribs and salad. I didn't let him near my treacle.
Alicia makes her treacle with lemon curd (yummy), baked yellow cake that has been crumbled and bits of fresh fruit like strawberries and peaches. You stir all of that together and then put whipped cream on top. Delicious!!
We got home by 9:30; I was in bed sound asleep by ten and didn't get up until 9 this morning.
It's another hot day here so we are heading for the movies this afternoon. I think we will veg tomorrow.
I'd invite you in, but....
3 hours ago