It's no surprise that the wineries are calling to me. They combine much of what is right in my world. Working with the land, often family owned operations, craft in the making, art in the vinting, aroma, texture, creativity, food, calming vistas, conviviality, usually some music and a good wine buzz is just icing on the cake.
While cozying up in front of a crackling autumn fireplace with your sweetie and a glass of port is softly romantic, the warmer months let the wineries shine. Colored bottles sparkle in the sunlight. Birds sing and swoop to perch at table's edge, waiting for a crumb. Picnic blankets are spread on lawns, lovers resting heads in laps, watching clouds and stealing kisses. Laughter peals and ripples from group to group, that giddy sound that only a cocktail of sunshine and champagne can bring. Acoustic music wafts over the hillside and people sing in spite of themselves, suddenly unconscious of inhibition, and it's beautiful.
My husband and I had our third date at a winery. On a little patio covered with vines, dappled sun peeking down on us, he got me drunk on champagne, fed me strawberries and held my hand while we took in the sweeping view of the Augusta vineyards. It was the first of many winery trips that year, that decade, this lifetime. Eventually, I learned to love complex wines, and I learned to navigate our complex lives. But when we go back to the wineries, we're free of all that. It's just pure pleasure. No wonder the wineries call to me.