Saturday, December 6, 2014

Harvest in Sonoma Winds Down...

Nothing like a little camping along the Extreme Sonoma Coast

With our evenings back to ourselves and weekends free to play, we began to take advantage of our location near the Pacific Coast Highway. Having missed our usual NEMO home, Roel and I took the opportunity to get out and do some camping and hiking along the coast.

We began to fully enjoy our rental house and sharing family dinner nights, comprised of food and drinks from the countries represented by our harvest team.

USA: Chili with cornbread, root beer floats, gourmet BLTs and pumpkin pie and LOTS of Flowers wines.

A real treat: 1995 Flowers Camp Meeting Ridge Pinot Noir... still beautiful nearly 20 years later!

Chile: Empanadas, Sopapillas and Pisco Sours

Learning how to make empanadas with our Chilean co-intern.

Germany:  Onion Cake, Cabbage, Roladen, Spaetzel, Apple Strudel and LOTS of German wines, mostly from Martin’s family winery.

Australia: Kangaroo, Sausage Rolls, Burgers with all the Aussie Fixings, Coopers Beer (real Australian beer ;) ) and LOTS of Australian wines.

And best of all, our parents, wanting to take advantage of relative proximity, came to visit from Holland, Vermont and Florida.

Bring your parents to work day: Roel tasting his parents through some of Flowers best barrels.

I got to hike Mt. Shasta with my Dad and one of his best friends on my birthday.

The days at work were now filled with putting together blends from different barrels and analyzing the resulting samples.

Chardonnay samples ready to be sent off for analysis.

With actual time to spare during the day and after work, our winemaker, Dave, tasted through the wines with us and we had a few fun “blind” tasting sessions which were quite educational.

We got to spend some time with Flowers's viticulturist who walked us through some of the biodynamic practices Flowers has employed.

And we got to take an awesome "field trip" to Napa where we were able to taste some stunning wines and chat with some world-renowned winemakers.

Field trips as an adult are sooooo much better. 2005 Opus One. YUM.

Between having all of this fun and learning, on the edge of our minds the knowledge that we would be crossing the border into Mexico sooner than we realized crept in. And the to-do list compilation began.

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