Archive for Yolo County
Putah Creek Winery’s Spring Wine Tasting (and food pairing) is this Saturday, May 4, 3-6pm in Davis. It’s a marvelous way to enjoy the gorgeous outdoors, get to know some of Yolo County’s fine food, wine and art, and just relax amongst the oaks of rural Davis. $15 in advance, $20 at the door.
The 3rd Annual Wine & Art in the Park 2013 will take place next Saturday, May 11, 11-5pm in Winters. Featuring wines from Capay Valley, Winters, Davis, Dunnigan Hills and English Hills – as well as local food, music and art – it’s another intimate affair that promises a significant dose of romance. (If you haven’t yet experienced Winters’ flavors and charms, this is a great way to get it all done in one cool, shady spot). $15 in advance, $20 at the door.
P.S. Nearby accomodations include Holiday Inn Express West Sacramento.
Enjoy and sleep tight!
When you set out on the open road, the open roads and fields and skies often become comfort to the soul and exhilaration for the spirit. Almost immediately, I begin to feel the pressures of life and confines of my mind melting away. Who I am – or want to be – becomes clearer as the stressors and structures of society begin to disintegrate. What I want and want to believe possible emerges upon the horizon’s glow, sparking the glistening pavement, the ancient trees, the wild wandering birds to sing, sway and move with me in some new and beckoning way.
But before I get too lost in my own reverie, new civilization sprouts before me, foreign lands birth people, and those creatures in turn speak to me in my thirsty native tongue… What they say stops me in my tracks.
“Cold Beer Here!”
Take Hwy 16 through Downtown Woodland and keep on heading west. You won’t regret it if you like blossoming trees, billowing grasslands, small farming towns and refreshment stands along the way. Don’t miss Roadtrip Bar & Grill in Capay for smoked meats and a game of horseshoes. If you like to explore times gone by, stop off at Junk, Funk & Finery Thrift Store in Esparto. But by all means, get back in the car and keep aiming for that gorgeous horizon, even if just to eventually return, a slightly renewed and refreshed you.
Always refreshing it is for me to find people not operating from a place of rules and rigidity, but rather graciousness and openness. And since this usually breeds a sense of freedom and enjoyment, these are the people with whom I want to move forward in life.
This is how I feel when I am in the company of the people at Berryessa Gap. Their annual ‘Springtime in the Vineyard’ gathering over Memorial Day weekend, for instance, was like a breath of fresh air ~ with wine flowing, food in abundance, expansive views and friendly folks from all over. They just have a way of attracting and pulling fun, friendly people together; including the talented, folksy musical duo Misner & Smith, who painted the backdrop with their beautiful blend of harmonies.
Sipping a glass of Verdelho as Tom finishes his second shrimp and carnitas burrito, with the sun glistening on the just-sprinkled upon vines, it seems to me exactly what ‘The Good Life, Sacramento’ is all about. For if you listen, look, take a whiff, and happen to detect a slice of the good life… I’d say you were right on the money with this vintage. If you go, nevertheless, prepare for potentially rapidly-changing weather, as the same moisture that encourages the plumpness from the coastal range’s grapes has been known to make a sudden appearance on a perfectly sun-shiney day.
Berryessa Gap is known for their Spanish varietals and ‘Life is short so enjoy them now’ philosophy. They have two tasting rooms in Winters – one downtown and another in the winery – and plenty of great events (from small Friday night gatherings to the annual Paella Contest).
Digging for nectar at Miner’s Leap!
So like many things in life, we found it by accident. On the way to Bogle we passed a very appealing-looking winery with signs that read: “Wine Tasting”, “Today” and “Open”. That’s all it took for us to turn the car around and make a detour from our original plans. Although we did manage to make it to Bogle before they closed, our first experience at Miner’s Leap was an all around pleasant – dare I even say inspiring – one.
From Mandy’s energy and friendliness to lazy rescue dog Lilly, from luscious red wines to well-stocked beer refrigerator, and from scenic grounds to getting to know Stefani, in total it was more than we bargained for… but in a ‘more is more (and better)’ kind of way.
Sipping wines just outside the 111-year-old barn with views of Yolo County’s agricultural landscape, Tom and I enjoyed hearing about Mandy’s adventurous life-shift from Cabo San Lucas to Clarksburg. A bit later lounging on the well-manicured patio overlooking the event grounds, we sipped a cool brew in the warm autumn sun and contemplated risk and worth in life.
Only getting tidbits of the colorful stories – the winery owners, their staff and animals included – their immense zest for life shows in their presence, their openness, and their wines alike. Making the very best of what they have to work with and being willing to risk it all, if necessary, in order to live to the fullest… Well, it’s not an easy way to go about it day to day, but it’s certainly a courageous and admirable one. And if a Miner’s Leap is one of faith – equipped with some preparedness and a love for both the experience and effect – I think that’s a mighty fine way to find and define success.
Miner’s Leap Winery
54250 S. River Rd., Clarksburg
Weather and Wine… For wine growers, the two are inextricably (and sometimes excruciatingly) mixed. For wine enthusiasts, there is an anticipatory pairing between the two, paying attention to harvest, crush time and release dates. And for humble wine lovers? Well, it all depends.
For me, I have tendencies when it comes to wine and weather, being more likely to drink reds when the weather is cold and whites when it is warm. It’s not rocket science, but neither is it foolproof. This winter, for instance, I’ve been drinking more whites than reds… as if my palate is as confused as our weather patterns.
But regardless the season, there’s always good news ahead for wine lovers. And since Spring has officially just sprung, what better way to celebrate its arrival than with good wine, food, music and the great outdoors?!
Spring Fling, a Picnic in Clarksburg Weekend Wine Tasting Event, will be under way the first weekend in April. Less than a nickel and dime away from Sacramento, Clarksburg is actually the closest wine region to the river city, but that by no means makes it any less significant. An undeniably beautiful area with a hefty handful of reputable wineries, Clarksburg is home to Bogle Vineyards, Heringer Estates and Carvalho Family Wines to mention just a few. There will actually be twelve wineries in attendance and over 50 wines available for sipping.
So bring a picnic and blanket or take advantage of the food vendors when you get there. Tickets are a steal at just $12.
Saturday and Sunday, April 2 and 3rd, 11AM-5PM
Brought to you by the Clarksburg Wine Growers Association: http://www.clarksburgwinegrowers.org