I have never actually been to a vineyard tour before, and if I had known that I was attending one today, I might have chosen more appropriate footwear. Cute strappy platform wedges are not entirely conducive to climbing a hilly vineyard. In the grass. I knew I was going to a vineyard, and to a book signing by Katherine Cole. I’ve known Katherine for years, and was looking forward to one of her book events so I could reconnect with her. I just should have done a little more research about what was in store! I felt a little self-conscious walking in to the registration area, and I usually don’t feel self-conscious about my attire unless I’m under-dressed. Which doesn’t happen very often!
After securing my signed copy of “Voodoo Vintners: Oregon’s Astonishing Biodynamic Winegrowers“ and a gorgeously perfect Riedel “Oregon” Pinot Noir Glass (did you know Georg Riedel created this glass in 2008 specifically for Oregon Pinots? I just learned that!), I trekked up the hill to find Vivalavivie. This is when I realized my shoes were wrong. At first, I felt like I was in a movie. The sun was shining, I could hear the music drifting up the hill, and I was surrounded by grape leaves and grass and mountains. I was walking up the hill, and walking… and walking… and walking… when it occurred to me that a hat would help, as would different shoes. No matter, I’m not one to let a sartorial mistake ruin a perfectly gorgeous afternoon.
Finally I finally made it to the top, where a pouring station was set up, and found Vivian and friends,. We sampled the reds here, chatted with friendly folk, then headed down a different row to another pouring station, to sample the whites.
I’m not wine-proficient enough to have the right language to tell you why I liked certain wines more than others. That might be another post, anyway. I really enjoyed everything I tasted, and not surprisingly, adored the most expensive bottles.
Here’s what I can tell you without hesitation, however:
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW WHEN VISITING A VINEYARD!
1. Dress for the weather. I was wearing an appropriate sun dress, but next time I’ll wear a hat. And sunscreen. I guess I thought we’d be inside somehow. Silly me.
2. Cute shoes are fine, but make sure you can walk in grass in them! I really did fine with my wedges, but I certainly could have chosen more wisely. Flatter sandals would have been better.
3. Eat before you go. There were lovely snacks available, but if you’re drinking wine, you really need to not have an empty stomach. I’m not really successful with the whole swish & spit thing. I like to drink my wine!
4. Travel lightly. I put my credit card, phone and car key in my pocket, which left my hands free. I had Katherine’s book & the wine list/map in one hand, and my glass in the other. I would have been annoyed if I had my purse around my neck, especially trekking around in the sun.
5. Be prepared to buy some wine to take home. Enjoying it later will bring back all the memories of visiting in the first place. I didn’t buy any at the time, and I’m regretting it. I will have to secure a bottle or two… maybe not of my favorites, because I don’t want Brian to divorce me, but even the lower-end wines were lovely (and hardly lower-end by any other standards).
I hope to do more vineyard tours, and next time I’ll be more prepared!