In Templeton, California there is a little slice of heaven.
It’s a small family run winery called Still Waters Vineyards. There are no castles, no 50′ fountains, no aerial trams. Just good wine (and a beautiful garden).
Even though we are surrounded by wineries where we live, it’s not often that we can stop and spend an afternoon at one. But, since I was on vacation, we took a break from home remodel projects for a tour and tasting party with co-workers.
The owner is passionate about his wine and vineyard so the tour is always entertaining. He covers everything from how the grapes are grafted, grown, trellised and pruned. When he pours, it is an education about using all the senses to experience wine. Seeing the color and clarity in the light, smelling as the liquid touches your lips, and tasting on all the parts of your tongue. To me, the highlight is when the group is divided into two teams to blend their own wine. After tasting the varietals individually, it’s amazing to try to blend a wine to bring out the different aspects of each grape.
After a wonderful lunch in the garden, there is a blind taste test. Can you tell which wine is your recipe? Do you like your blend? It doesn’t matter, they are all good. It is a fun experience.