After a particularly troubling couple of days, I was craving a little wine to take the edge off. I decided to get out of town for an afternoon. Knowing I wanted to stay close to home, I pulled up Sac Wine and Ale and clicked on the map for Placer County. Within a couple of minutes, I had devised a plan and jumped in the car and headed east. My first stop would be Lone Buffalo Vineyards on the Placer Wine Trail.
As I arrived, and pulled up to Lone Buffalo, I knew I made the right decision. I was greeted by a rustic sign that set the tone and attitude for the winery; lush grapevines and colorful signs pointed me around the property. I took a deep breath and my shoulders dropped, and I found myself easing into a new state of relaxation. I parked the car, put on my mask and headed in to find a seat.
It was a typically hot Sacramento day, but I was quite comfortable in the shade under the misters. The menu offered a flight, a glass or a bottle of wine. Because this was not my only stop, I went for a sampler flight.
I sipped slowly, my attention on the wine. I read the winery descriptions and notes. I noticed the coolness, the aromas, flavors and textures. Before I knew it, checklists and worries disappeared from my brain, and all that mattered was the wine before me, the view and the fresh air.
After a lovely chat with the Maddux family (Lone Buffano winery owners), I purchased a couple of bottles of the Lone Buffalo Dreamcatcher Sparkling Rose and the Noble Beast Cabernet Sauvignon, then took a quick tour around the winery before saying my goodbyes.
Next up: Vina Castellano, just 15 minutes down the road. As I arrived I spotted the beautiful pond in the middle of the property. It’s surrounded by lush green grass, tall trees rustling in the breeze, and yellow and red umbrellas offering shade to small groups of visitors as they share a glass or two of wine. I checked in and took a seat at a table at the edge of the pond. I ordered a wine flight and took off my shoes. When my tasting arrived, I sipped mindfully and let the feathery blades of grass tickle my toes. I heard gentle guitar music in the background and the sound of running water. I watched the fish circle in the pond. I noticed the smiles on faces of others as we sat in this beautiful place—together but apart, without a care in the world for one afternoon.
While a day of wine tasting could be called a hobby, it is also much more. It offers time to slow down and relax, to meet new people and visit new places. It provides an opportunity to get close to nature and appreciate an art form. It’s a time to connect with friends and family members and create memories. It is a chance to be mindful and grateful.