Why do I love wine…well wine has always been a big part of family gatherings for me. Picking the perfect bottle of wine to go with dinner was something I always loved doing with my Dad or Godfather, even when I had no idea what I was doing because I was 10. They let me rummage through the wine closets and look at the labels. I would undoubtedly gravitate towards the most expensive bottle that was so very inappropriate for the moment, but they would kindly guide me in a more reasonable direction, making me feel like I picked the exact right bottle for this exact right meal.
Then there was the ritual of opening the bottle, having my mom or godmother take the first taste to approve the bottle, and pouring it into every guest’s glass. I loved watching the wine swirl around in the glasses around me. I loved how it smelled. And I especially loved how adult I felt when I got my own little tiny glass with an ice cube and a thimble full of whatever ‘my’ pick was!
Even as an adult with my own wine fridge I still get almost giddy when my godfather asks me to pick the bottle of wine out of his wine collection. I still feel excited when I pick ‘the wine’ that everyone oohs and awes over while talking on the back deck under the bistro lights. There is nothing I love more than my family, several bottles of California wine and a conversation that rambles on until the wee hours of the night! Add Aunt Tricia's cooking and a fire pit….perfecto! (If you stick with my Blog I guarantee you will see Aunt T’s cooking!)
Wine is not a means to a drunk end for me, it is an experience with family and friends. It is a memory in a glass. The first time I had Rose I was at Lake Coeur d'Alene Idaho on a deck with my Uncle Rob. The first time I learned to find the “legs” I was a kid. Standing on a chair pretending to be an adult.
The day I decided to really pursue photography I was knee deep into a bottle of 2012 Cooper Barbara. And although I am still working on the full time transfer into photography, a huge Barbara will always make me think of photography, and that makes me so happy!
Now that you know why I love wine let me explain Wamping.
A brief History...
My upbringing lead me in the direction of my previously stated love of wind and fine foods, late nights and family vacations spent in hotels on beaches. However, the love I have for my husband has lead me to camping. Not an easy transition. So, in an effort to ease me into the world of zippered doors and air mattress, CJ (that is the new Husband) thought it would be a great idea to start with a more Glamping approach to camping. Large campground, in Tahoe, on a beach. We had a truck worth of gear and lots of pillows. It kinda worked. But we had a serious encounter with a bear and I swore off camping. Then, one lovely day our friends invited us camping, I protested, they said there were wineries, I said when are we going...
Anderson Valley and Pinot are pretty much the perfect match, consistent mild temperatures and a very low risk of frost enable Anderson Valley to slowly climb the ladders as far as Pinots are concerned. Because Anderson Valley is still considered a newbie Pinot region, the vineyards aren’t packed, tasting fees are low, and reservations at the local State park campground are still easy to come by!
And so, as close to annually as possible, myself, my Husband and a couple friends go Wamping! Or Camping with the sole purpose of Wine tasting…and buying. To my Surprise I met several people camping at Hendy Woods with the same goals as us. Making Wamping a real thing.
In case you were wondering: Yes we wore Rose Posse shirts while tasting all the Rose! They are from CoffeeInTheShower.
Here was our weekend in a nutshell:
Places I have never been – Francis Ford Coppola Winery
Talk about a wine tasting experience, this place was more of a resort than the vineyards I am used to frequenting in Amador. We opted for the reserve tasting to get a glimmer of the wines they produce that aren't available in stores, and it was so worth it! I rediscovered my love of blends…who am I kidding, I never lost my love of blends.
Tasting flights of anything is great on a Saturday! Enter in Anderson Valley Brewery.
Although I am not a huge fan of beer, I love this place. I can always find something I like and the courtyard is perfect to map out the wine tasting for the following day.
Places we visited, Toulouse Vineyards and Handley! I am in love with both of these places…so I took a lot of my photos there. Both of these places have elements to them that bring me back to why I love wine. Toulouse has a deck that rivals most. And Handley Cellars makes you feel like you are at your families house chatting about life and it’s ever changing complexity.
The Surprise of the weekend – Roederer Estate!
On a whim we went here because I love Sparkling wines, and we heard they had a surprising Pinot for a crazy reasonable price…and it was so true! I regret not spending more time exploring their grounds. We will be back.
Next post I will dive more into why Photography…hopefully giving more insight into why a blog!