Sunday, August 2, 2009


I love vineyards and wineries. I love the way they look: the rows are neat, the roses at the end of rows, and their shops are usually adorable. Who am I kidding? I love the wine tasting! I have visited wineries in several states now. It seems to be a "vacation" thing. I probably shouldn't have started with this picture. I should save the best for last, but I can't resist bragging. My kid sister (K.S.) took this picture. Isn't it amazing?! Actually, this is a picture of her picture! Her husband had her photo developed onto canvas. It really looks like an oil painting. Besides being a great photographer, she likes wineries (and wine!) as much as I do.
We flew out to California several years back for her oldest daughter's wedding. On the trip, we drove through Sonoma wine country and visited a winery or two. A year later, my sister and her husband bought me an airline ticket to return for a visit. (No graduation or wedding this time!) The K.S. took me to Napa on an overnight trip.

We did several wine tastings on our jaunt. I liked Napa, but I loved the Russian River wine country. My favorite winery: Korbel!! (My love of champagne blog is here.) The K.S. and I had the best time. Definitely a vacation I won't ever forget!
Since then, the Mr. and I have been searching our wineries in the Midwest. A couple years ago we spent a week in the wine country of Missouri.

The Mr. studying the list at one wine tasting. Do you suppose he is wondering if they serve beer? (It is a real possibility!)
We've had a chance to tour their facilities and learn the wine making process. The history of prohibition had an interesting affect on the wineries of the Midwest.
Our Missouri trip to the wineries was also part bicycle trip on their famous KATY trail.
I'm not mad in this photo, just exhausted--and probably wondering if the Mr. was ever going to find the right button to push on the camera. (There is a reason I'm not in many photographs!) I had just biked 24 miles on the KATY, hence the exhaustion and the cowboy hat hiding the helmet hair! At this winery, you could lock up your bike at the trail and hike a switchback up to the winery. Very handy for all those wine-loving bikers out there!
And that brings us to the winery visit this last week. This "Group Therapy" flag greeted us.

The winery was located on the famous Route 66, so each of their wine goblets proudly bore the emblem--as did the label on their wine. It isn't harvesting season yet, but I had to take a few pictures of the grapes before the stomping commences!

We don't have many wineries in our State...yet! One of my students this next school year has started a winery on his parent's farm. It is part of his 4-H project. I am hoping to take pictures as the grapes ripen at his vineyard this fall. I'm pretty sure he is going to have to draw me a map on how to get there. We've been out searching for it--and so far, no luck.
Coffee shop or winery? Which do I want to run when I grow up? I'm not quite sure yet. I am pretty sure I am going to have to visit a few more coffee shops and wineries before I make that decision! (It is a tough job, but someone has to do it!)
Next up for wine country? Tuscany, I hope! And I hear they have bicycle trips through wine country there, too! Saving my pennies, saving my pennies...


ch said...

oh, what a great hobby! i fear my tours would be short, though...since a taste is pretty much all i need before i'm stomping my own grapes, if you know what i mean...

such pretty pictures...time to schedule a visit of my own while whitney's still in sunny california...

Debbie said...

Now you're talking! I don't drink but I LOVE wineries. I collect stemware glasses. I am a big fan of Tuscany decor. My dining room is decorated with a grape theme. I'm from Missouri so I have the advantage of touring several wineries. The picture you posted of the California grapes is very interesting. I don't think I've seen the blue grapes in Missouri. Ours are mainly wine purple or green. As far as which is my favorite place to go: Coffee Shops or Wineries? Hmmmm? I think it's a toss up. I like to go to coffee shops to drink coffee and feel pampered. I like to go to wineries to browse through the gift shops and take in the scenery of the vineyards. They have such a calming, peaceful feel to them.

kath said...

Don't forget Niagara in Ontario, Canada! As you know I live in wine country. If you want to read a great book, it's called "My First Crush". I don't remember the author, but she and her husband buy a winery and it's the trials and tribulations of their first year.

Gayle said...

Oh, owning a winery sounds so romantic. Probably it isn't so romantic in real life! More like a lot of hard work! But still it would be cool. Your sister's photo is wonderful! It does look like a painting.

elk said...

you made me laugh and with the thoughts in parenthesis...sweet series of a magical spot!

2Thinks said...

Love your sister's photo at the beginning. Wine tasting in Napa- we had a great time doing that, too, a few years back. Michigan has some good wine tasting spots up north- Traverse City and Mission Point etc. Our favorite is a Harvest Riesling, the one with the sailboat on the bottle. :)

Our friends now buy it by the case.


2Thinks said...

I forgot to say I'll come work in your coffee shop or winery- whichever. Give me a jingle when it's up and running. Maybe I'll be grown up by then too.

CMwhyK said...