In Which the Wine Bug Becomes the Unquenchable Thirst, or How We Went From Mere Wine Drinkers to Winemaker Wannabes

Well, hello. It seems a little introduction is in order. I'm Emily, and that great-looking guy down in the profile photo is Jody. (Pink is his color. Don't you think?) The two of us met in 1992, married in 1997, and have two delightful children (girl & boy, 9 & 5) and a hilarious pug named Stella. (She takes her position as home-winery dog very seriously.)

Exhibit A:

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She's not yawning. She's just completed her daily "pug run," during which -- of her own accord -- she runs furious loops, skidding around obstacles and corners, until she can no longer breathe through her pug nose and must instead pant rather dramatically.

Jody and I have been into wine for quite awhile, and really into wine for the last several years. Our wine journey has brought us to this place: We're getting ready to make our first vintage this harvest -- at home -- with fruit lovingly sourced from a vineyard almost 200 miles north, and equipment begged and borrowed from friends we've made along the way.

Wine travel is something we've always loved. California wine country is vast and varied, and we've been lucky enough to visit not only those regions where wine tourism is a huge business, but also areas where the main roads host tractor-repair shops and rows of warehouses.

It's in one of those regions that our interest in drinking wine turned into something more. When people don't have to show off with palatial, multi-million-dollar facilities designed to lure in tipsy tourists for a $20 tasting fee and cases of overpriced, overproduced "winery-only" specials, they can focus their energy and their money on making the best wine possible. And if you're interested in learning how they do it, they're more than happy to hang out with you and share.

That's what we found going on several years ago in California's Central Coast. This is where our story begins.

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Bien Nacido Vineyards, just before sunset, Spring 2009

The idea behind this blog is to tell a few different stories: how beautifully crafted wine can bring people together; how it can feed the soul and spark a dream; and how a busy family living far away from the vineyards we love can follow our passion -- and make wine for the first time.

Thanks for coming along on the journey.

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