Alyse and I spent New Year’s Day at one of our favorite wineries, Walnut Ridge, looking back on 2015 and decided to create a Top 10 list. Here goes…
Number One on the list is the birth of Winery Wanderings. For both of us this is a rebirth of our passions. For me, it’s photography. My father was a professional photographer and a darn good one. I ‘ve never had the passion as much as I do now. I got a brand new digital camera for Hanukkah this year and am enjoying every minute of getting to know the camera and its capabilities.
For Alyse, it was a return to being the creative writer and journalist she’s always been. Her writing style is amazing and it is so evident in the blog posts she writes.
Here are the remaining nine, in no particular order.
- We found so many new wineries and places to visit. From the Willamette Valley to Sonoma and Napa, we experienced the best of the best, from small boutique wineries to the biggest of them all.
- We continue to introduce our friends to the experience of tasting wine at its source.
- Brooks University at Linfield College, a special wine tasting seminar for wine club members of Brooks Winery. We graduated with honors.
- Redux at wineries where we didn’t have a great first impression. On our second visit to one of these wineries, we joined their wine club. Always give someone a second chance, then make a decision. We all have bad days.
- Finding the ” Zen” that just sipping a glass of wine at a winery or tasting room gives us.
- Behind the scenes tours of several wineries in the Dry Creek area of Sonoma County that enabled us to learn so much more about the the workings of a winery (thanks to Josh Brett for those amazing opportunities).
- Using our Wine Passports from Oregon, Napa and Sonoma. They have more than paid for themselves. We got to try new places we never would have visited. In fact, one of our favorite places came from the Oregon Wine Passport, Brooks Winery in Amity. The view is worth the drive from anywhere.
- We put to rest our bias towards some of the big wineries. We found they, too, have great wine and create amazing customer experiences similar to some of our favorite small, family owned wineries.
- Getting to know so many winery owners and winemakers. They make the visits so much more fun. These folks welcome questions and are happy to share their stories of wine and grapes. The more you know the better the experience you’ll have.
- Last, but certainly not least, the real # 2 is Walnut Ridge’s deviled eggs with bacon jam. There’s nothing more that needs to be said. Jim and Wendy, it’s time to make a bacon jam pinot noir !
We are looking forward to all the exciting things in store for 2016, starting with our wonderful wine class at Lane Community College. Can’t wait to tell you more about that and all the other adventures 2016 will bring.