How did Spring come so silently, feeling like winter but turning toward summer like nobody's business? Between a lo-oooong stretch of 62-degree May Gray days in San Diego, and the recent 40-mph windy days in the vineyards of the Central Coast, I, for one, am ready for a sunny, warm day. Maybe a few.
We spent Memorial Day weekend trying to stay earthbound amidst the unseasonably strong winds, and investigating vineyards both new and loved. Take a look.
Here's a new (to us) cool-microclimate Santa Ynez Valley vineyard that's growing a number of varieties. Possibilities abound!
Well, hello, our Kick On Ranch riesling rows. Most aren't flowering, yet, which is just as well, considering the potential for shatter (poor fruit set) due to this crazy wind.
The children came along on this work/play trip, which is always an interesting experience, based mainly on keeping their tummies full. It's a constant surprise that two seriously lean little people (daughter T, 11.75; and son E, 7.75) can be so hungry all the time. Pre-breakfast; breakfast; elevenses; lunch; afternoon snack; dinner; dessert (whenever they can get it) ... Often, I'll just get busy and forget to eat, but that's never an option with these two. Where do they put it all?
Investigating the riesling vines, beaten and blown by the wind, likely between an "I'm hungry" and "When are we eating again?"
Food, Glorious Food
Thankfully for everyone, we ate plenty well on this trip. Our lengthy drive north was rewarded by a meal at Flatbread -- the best place in Los Alamos next to the Kick On Ranch Vineyard -- involving burrata-stuffed artichoke; bacon, egg and stinging-nettle flatbread; and a dessert that includes a brownie, and a marshmallow, and a wood-fired oven; the whole of which Jody made up, that we're still trying to convince our friends to put on the menu as the Brix Brownie. (C'mon, guys. You know "The Beast" just doesn't have the same ring. Clark???)
We also had dinner at the original Hitching Post in Casmalia, which, really, is the only way to go UNLESS one is in town M-W, whence one must suck it up and visit the (made-famous-by-Sideways) Hitching Post II in Buellton; sit at the bar; and order the burger. Then, plan to have somewhere to sleep that thing off. But, I digress.
On a clear night, from here, you can watch the missile launches from Vandenberg Air Force Base. (Whilst in a meat coma.)
All's Fair in Love and Pastrami (or is it?)
The following day involved another lengthy drive back south and a stop at Canters Deli, which is what one must do, really, should one find oneself in Los Angeles 'round dinnertime. (Or, anytime involving eating. Yes.)
The four of us split two hot pastrami Reubens. (You can't take a photo of these things in the Canters atmosphere, as the light prohibits a true representation, So you'll just have to imagine.) And, well, all kinds of things happen when pastrami enters the picture.
(Mopping brow. Breathing. Sigh.)
The End (As We Know It)
Such is a weekend away, a visit afar, a time to fly, with wings still bound to home. Never too far. Never too much.
Stay tuned, friends; with harvest a mere four months away, it's a mystery still to see what will happen. We can't wait to share it with you.
Until next time ... cheers!