Two years ago, my husband and I made a pact: We were going to move to wine country. Specifically, the Napa Valley.
At the time, we were mired in the humidity and drudgery of a major East Coast city. Police sirens and irate drivers punctuated our daily lives. Everything was a constant rush. Work. Networking. Exercise. Errands. Even our social lives were hurried and stressed. For a while, we had enjoyed such a lifestyle, but as California natives, we were hungry to return home. And, more importantly, we were eager to slow our lives down. To settle in a place of supreme natural beauty and…just be.
However, as is often the case in life, things don’t always go immediately according to plan. Time lines get skewed, opportunities are delayed, competing demands result in stalemates, and more. Such was our situation.
Yet throughout all of the deterrents (two years worth, to be exact), we held true to our belief that Napa would be our “forever” home. There was this power that it held over us, with its two-lane highways, country stores, sloping hills, mixture of trees and vines, small-town friendliness, and hidden natural gems.
More than anything, we wanted to cultivate the essence of what makes wine country so special. Calm and quiet mornings, where the marine layer slowly lifts off the foothills; casual Sunday dinners that stretch on for hours and hours; the ever-present clink of glasses, as friends and family celebrate life. A little piece of old country living in the new world.
After many stalls and delays, we finally packed our bags and moved “home.” As I write this, we are newly-minted residents in the valley (for you oenophiles, we now call the AVA known as Oak Knoll home).
So far, it has been exactly what we hoped it to be. Our first introduction to the neighborhood was through two proud roosters who decided to take up residence in our front yard (much to our cat’s chagrin). We now purchase our eggs down the road at a quaint nursery. Gardening has taken on a whole new meaning (and time commitment!). We’ve quickly gotten on a first-name basis with the local merchants. And our favorite tasting rooms now welcome us with shouts of applause and excitement. In a way, we feel like we’ve always lived here.
The immediate results have been momentous, as we’ve learned to truly enjoy life again. It is on this backdrop that we’ve decided to capture our experiences in life and wine. Because, ultimately, it’s about the simple things. Grapes. Wine. Life.
This blog is intended to follow our pursuits in the valley and beyond. To share our adventures as we pursue all that wine country has to offer, both near and far. The early mornings. The impromptu dinner parties. The smell of fresh dirt. The deep color of grapes hanging on the vines. And the tranquility of sunsets, as they sweep the Western slopes of the valley.
We hope to bring the best experiences of life and wine to the masses.
Goodbye elitism, hello awesomeness.
Wine is not something that should be stymied by stereotypes or pretenses. It is something that should be enjoyed and embraced, regardless of your background, knowledge or palate.
As such, we have three simple goals.
(1) To educate ourselves (and hopefully, a few others in the process) on the wines of the world. We hope to be experimental in our educational pursuits, so as to appeal to a new generation of wine drinkers, thus demystifying the elitism and stigma associated with the culture of wine.
(2) We hope to capture the essence of wine country living. From the little treasures of an apple tree in our back yard (hello, apple pie!), to hosting friends and family, to perfecting the wine country picnic, to capturing the perfect vineyard photograph, we are here to claim a foothold in this valley.
(3) We want to share with others how the little nuances of this vast industry. From the one-man shop who makes wine out of a storage unit, to the vast empires of the biggest wine companies in the world, every label has a story. This includes interviews with winemakers, proprietors, chefs, sales gurus, vineyard managers, and more. Everyone has a story…and we want to capture them all.
And finally, in the process, we may even try to sell a little wine. Who knows, crazier things have happened.
Thus, without further ado, we say, “Hello.”