Deep down inside, humans usually have ulterior motives. I had one in regards to Vineman. Yes, there was the race I was itching to do, especially since I was sidelined last year. But in addition to that, Vineman takes place in a fabulous wine producing region. Tim is a huge wine fan, and turns out so is Wendy. Jason and I try not to be slouches in that regard, either. So the day after the race we had another event to attend, the post-Vineman wine tour.
This time, unlike nine years ago, we decided to sign up for a guided tour rather than drive ourselves, mainly because none of us were offering to be the designated driver. The resort we were staying at recommended Stacy's Wine Stop, and we lucked out when the fancy-schmancy Town Car pulled up to pick us up, and our tour guide turned out to be the owner of the company, Stacy, herself!
The four of us piled in, and right away Stacy was a wealth of wine info. We got to sit back and enjoy the ride along the same roads we'd raced the day before. We told Stacy we really only had one wish for the tour, and that was to visit wineries that we wouldn't be able to find their wines anywhere else. They had to be special.
We ended up visiting six different wineries (yep, good thing we had a driver!): Kokomo, Peterson, Mercury, Stryker, Hawkes and Harvest Moon. Each was quite different from the other, and of course the one thing they had in common was fantastic wines. My personal favourites were Mercury and Hawkes. My least favourite was Stryker; although it had a fabulous setting the wines just didn't appeal to me as much. Plus, the staff wasn't as helpful and welcoming as the others. At both Mercury and Harvest Moon we got to meet the winemakers, which was a treat as well.
Jason, Wendy and I enjoying the wines at our first stop, Kokomo.
The four of us at Mercury. The tasting shop had a really cool vibe, probably
thanks to the Coltrane album bring played on the turntable. Nice!
That's Brad, the winemaker, next to Wendy. He was really passionate
about his wines, and really interesting to listen to. I'd definitely go back to
Mercury next time I'm in the Geyserville area!
Harvest Moon - last stop of the day. That's Stacy, our guide, behind us.
We had definitely hit our saturation point by the time Stacy returned us to our condo. I don't think I yet count as a full-fledged oenophile, but I'm working on it!
Food for thought - we learned at the border that duty on wine (we all came home over our limit) was a whopping 85%! Thanks so much to the border agents who just waived us through with a warning.
Thanks to Tim for all the pics I've posted here!
PS - I just thought I'd throw this picture in as well, seeing as the pool
at our condo is where we spent most of our pre- and post-race time.
That is, when we weren't eating candy (oh sorry Wendy, I wasn't supposed
to mention that... apologies for the rest of us being such bad influences!)