On Saturday morning, we awoke free of jet lag ready for another Platypus Tour. (Also, I remembered to eat breakfast this time since we would be drinking at 11am--big help.) Really, I cannot emphasize enough how wonderful these tours are. Granted, we had only been on one before, but now that we've done two I would have no problem signing up for a third, a fourth, a fifth, etc. They looked up our tour from August to make sure we wouldn't repeat anything. Rather than send us down closer to Sonoma Square, we stayed north in Healdsburgh. Four other people were on the tour with us, all of them friends. Two were from Pittsburgh, Fred and Rihannon, and Fred promptly greeted us with "Flyers SUCK!!!" Frankly, if he hadn't been a Pens fan, I would've wondered what was wrong with him. (And Leslie went to CMU and we all know that I love Pittsburgh, so that's fine with me.) Their two friends, Farrest and Rosemary, I think were both from the Bay Area, but we were referred to as the Pennsylvania Group all day.
Our first stop was Viszlay Vineyards. Basically one guy runs the whole show there, but he was out of town so his daughter did our tasting with us. We sat outside--the sun was so bright it was bizarre. No clouds; there was a breeze and it seemed like most of us had to adjust to the concept of being (just being. BE-ing.) outside. We couldn't get over it. (Or at least we and the Pittsburghers couldn't get over it.) At one point I said, "I can't believe I'm outside. On purpose." I began to think about it, and the last time I remember doing that was the first week of November on a Wednesday before school. Everything was golden yellow because the leaves were still up, but a front was moving through and the wind was going to rip them all down. Pretty sure I wore closed toe shoes that day too. It had been our last warm day (and we all knew that particular day that it would be our last one for a while)--four months ago [insert three anguished emoji].
|Yup, you can just leave your cyclamen outside and they won't die.|
|And your olives too--just leave alllll your olive trees outside. No big deal.|
|There was a pasture with goats not far from here, but we didn't get to see them.|
From here, it was off to Everett Ridge. According to Ron, this was the group favorite. I must have missed that conversation. I did like their wines best, but I think I would pick the stop after this for favorite ambiance. This place was gorgeous too, though.
|I saw this (lichen? moss?) all over the place on this particular trip.|
|The first of, like, a zillion citrus trees I would see on this trip.|
|Mom, they serve CHEESE PUFFS instead of cheese and crackers here!|
|I just couldn't get a shot of the wine swirling--I would really have to concentrate and take a hundred to get it right.|
|I THINK those are Spanish Oak trees? I need to look them up. I think these are too curly to be Spanish Oaks ... they could be California White Oaks?|
I must've taken more pictures the second half of the day than the first, so I'll keep going ...
|The patio at Kachina Vineyards--I could've stayed here all day. Our table here was in the shade, and with the sun shining through the trees (Spanish Oaks--I asked, so I actually know this time) it felt like May.|
|There has to be a pool around here somewhere--trust me, I looked for one.|
|We tried a port here, and it was served with half of a truffle (the chocolate kind--not the mushroom kind ... I think I remember Fred asking for clarification on that). That port was amazing--my favorite part.|
|And they had goats! And not just goats, but also BABY goats!|
|This is Kiva, a fifteen week old border collie--so friendly and sweet. She's going to learn how to herd the goats. I loved how her right eye had black eyelashes and her left eye had white eyelashes.|
So we're two-thirds of the way through, but only halfway through the day. Even as I sort through all these images and write all this down, I wonder if it was real--I could not have been further away from my daily February grind on this particular day.