Tag Archives: Napa Valley

Last Summer Hurrah (in Napa, CA)

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From a technical, Western standpoint, summer is still here.  The autumn equinox isn’t occurring for another seven days.  A week.

Yet it already feels like fall.  The days are crisp, and the everything feels fragile and delicate.  I grow melancholy in the evenings as the shadows grow long too soon.  Long days shorten.  Nights grow long and cold, and spicy scents fill my nostrils as I go about my day.  For those of us who celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival, the full moon watches over us and declares that it is fall.

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However, today I am not talking about the fall.  No, sir!  Today, I’m talking about the summer!  About how I’m still trying to grasp the last wisps of summer before they escape and give way to the chill of the winter.

I think I cherish summer more so than the other seasons because I’ve been without one for so many years.  Summers in San Francisco are chilly affairs, filled with fog and cold and no-sun.  So any day when the sun emerges or I’ve left the San Francisco bubble and entered the sunny, hot days of summer, I am excited.

Napa, California is one of these places.

California wine country is a hop, skip, and a jump from our home.  In fact, it’s probably faster to get to the fringes of Napa or Sonoma than it is to get into San Francisco proper.

So we frolic.

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The strands of full berries greet us from vineyard to vineyard.  Winery to winery.

We aren’t tourists.  So we don’t try to cram as many wineries into one day as possible.  One, maybe two, at most.  Otherwise, by tasting flight three or four, the wines all the same, tannins puckering our lips and taste buds.

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Instead, we take our time, joy ride in the sun, and stumble upon random wineries in Napa.

As a last hurrah for the summer before our friends and we went back to teaching, working longer hours, etc., we went for a joy ride to Napa.  We found this gem, a quiet winery in the lazy wine country with outdoor seating, wood fired pizzas made to order, and bocce.

I am spoiled.

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//35mm film photo, taken with my Canon AE-1 with Kodak Portra 400 film.  Sonoma, California, August 2016.

Wine Country Shenanigans

Grapes at Benziger WineryI just came home last night from a two-day off-site in Napa Valley for work.  They planned an “Amazing Race” event for us where we ended up scurrying around Napa Valley and its surrounding towns like maniacs trying to solve puzzles and overcome obstacles with alacrity and enthusiasm.

My team came in at seventh.  Out of seven teams . . .

Oops.

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Still, it was super fun.  And it inspired me to post photos from a few months back from the winery where we’re members up in Glen Ellen, CABenziger Winery is a Demeter-Certified Biodynamic winery.  This means that Benziger has attained the highest level of organic farming for its grapes.  From cows and sheep wandering their vineyards periodically to fertilize and aerate its soils to on-site insectaries, the resulting wine produced from Benziger is excellent.  You can taste and smell and see the care taken with producing their wines. 

Grapes at Benziger Winery Grapes at Benziger Winery

Benziger has a sister winery, Imagery, where we often go to picnic and play bocce ball.  If you follow my Instagram, you’ll find that I have posted photos from Imagery before. 

Olive TreeOlive Tree WineryI know I just came back from Napa last night, but . . . I’m ready to go back!

// 35mm film photographs taken with a Canon AE-1 on site at Benziger Winery sometime in August 2015.  The bokeh is just killing it!  Love film photography!