So, did you know that today in 1951 “I Love Lucy” premiered on CBS? You may also know that one of the most popular episodes is the one where Lucy and Ethel take jobs in the chocolate factory and have to wage battle against the conveyor belt by stuffing chocolate after chocolate into their mouths just to keep up.
Well, today was a little bit like that for our group – except for we were enjoying wine not chocolate. The morning got off to a great start with Jean and Elle Mae walking into the vineyard of the house we are renting and visited with the workers harvesting Malbec grapes. Truth be told, it was a beautiful morning made complete by eating grapes right off the vine for breakfast. Soon after, the Clampetts loaded up the truck and headed out for today’s adventure. First stop was a return trip to Eberle Winery – there we were greeted as the first customers of the day by David and Doug – they pegged us as Texans immediately – could be the UT Longhorn hat that adorned Uncle Jed’s head. Regardless, they were very polite and served us wine in spite of the burnt orange headgear. We had visited Eberle when we ventured out here five years ago, and were again pleased to be reconnected with such flavors. The winery recently scored 93 points on 2010 Syrah Steinbeck Vineyard – wow, this was a great wine – the dark color tipped us off to the flavors that awaited us. This full-bodied treat is one that would go well with just about any meal 0r a quiet evening on the back deck. We sampled several other delicious wines and will be blogging about them in the days ahead – have to wait for the shipment to arrive at Casa del Vino. A shoutout to Doug and David who made us feel right at home and got our day off to a perfect start.
Next stop on the list was Robert Hall Winery – thanks to Patrick at Grape Juice, we were able to get a backdoor tour of the operation. Don Brady took us down into the cellar to see where grapes being unloaded and crushed. This was a great opportunity to witness first hand how the grapes turn into wine. After the tour, Ashley in the tasting room made certain we got a sampling of all the goodies Robert Hall had to offer – again, more on these wines later as they arrive at the house.
Lunch time arrived and we headed to Thomas Hill Organics – another tip from our friends at Grape Juice – had “organic grapes” in regular o wine – “regular” only because they were not organically turned into wine. The wine was tasty and complimented all of our lunches – however the “medium bodied” wine was anything but medium . . . more like an XL.
We had one final stop for the day – the gang loaded into the car and headed off the Adelaida. This is another winery that we visited in 2007, and were so glad we made a return visit. Thanks to an Oliver connection, we were treated to a tour of the vineyard, stopping at different locations to not only view the landscape, but be treated to glass while standing amongst the vines that produced what we were enjoying. After and hour and a half, we stopped at a roadside table, and Tony our tour guide produced a picnic basket full of meats, cheeses, crackers, dried bing cherries, walnuts (the vineyard has a grove that produces half a million pounds of these delectables a year), and coffee flavored chocolate. We sampled 2009 HMR Estate Pinot, 2009 Michael’s Estate Zinfandel, and finally 2009 Anna’s Syrah and 2009 Version Red. All of these wines are rated 90 points or higher by Robert Parker and Wine Spectator. Wow, wow, wow ! When we returned to the tasting room, one more treat awaited us – 2006 Cabernet Sagvignon Viking Reserve – a heck of a way to end the day!
So like Lucy and Ethel, we kinda sorta faced the “conveyor belt” today but managed to rise to the occasion. A hard day’s work calls for an evening in the hot tub, and an early night. As it turns out we have a date tomorrow morning at O Dark Thirty to help crush grapes at Barr vineyards – hmmmmmmm, think that is another Lucy episode!
Sleep well, remember to enjoy responsibly and recycle when possible.