Vineyard Montage

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It had not escaped my attention that though I have spent many years living in wine country I really had yet to write a single post truly focusing on the vineyards that bless my life and the lives of the communities that surround me. This is probably due to a boorishly boring indifference to wine itself. But the beauty of the vineyards are a mainstay in my daily reality and it was probably past due to pay homage and share with all of you. And today I do.
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Go, little book, and wish to all
Flowers in the garden, meat in the hall,
A bin of wine, a spice of wit,
A house with lawns enclosing it,
A living river by the door,
A nightingale in the sycamore!
~Robert Louis Stevenson

Traversing early morning backroads I find this beautiful vineyard which lies next to the Russian River. What a stunning place to live!

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Inspired, I continue my exploration, and, of course, I find another animal friend who comes to visit and I am (again) delighted. These large animals just light up my spirit immeasureably. Their curiosity kindles my own and my heart always always immediately opens. Yours?
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Hello, pretty horse! Thank you for visiting me this morning! But now the activity at the fence has caught the attention of a number of cattledogs. I know better than to tangle with cattledogs, so I excuse myself and scurry back to my car! Whew!

Vineyards, vineyards. Back on track, I continue on my documenting way. I notice fog on the hills further south and I am anxious to catch and share one of the most engaging and beautiful elements with which we are blessed: the continual flow of fog off the ocean moving inland and gracing our surrounding hills and mountains in an ever changing spin of white and blue.

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Further south I look across the road, upon which I may not stop except in an emergency, and photographing vineyards will not qualify, at a series of willow trees which always capture my attention as I have occasion to pass by, yet I have never known how or where to enter. Suddenly I see a small dirt road and I make the sudden decision to turn in. I’m so glad I did. I follow the dirt road and a few small signs, and here’s where I come out!
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So I get one of my willows, and a big bunch of Christmas in the mix, charmingly so! How fun! This truly is a gorgeous spot, and after speaking with a woman there, I do promise to return to create a full post on this particular winery. For today I am sharing some of the images I was most struck by, which will serve very well for now and also as a precursor of what we will find in spring.
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I was very impressed with the gardening principles at this vineyard. I took another snap of the cover crop growing between the rows of grapes. I am not familiar with these particular plants. Are you? I’m sure I will have a reader who will know and share with the rest of us.
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One of the things I found here that pulled at my imagination and filled me with delight were these very old olive trees. The woman I spoke with told me they are each over 100 years old, and are slowly being transplanted from another location to create this amazing orchard.
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When I saw these olive trees, I knew I would have to come back to meet the artistic and conscientious people who are creating this destination. Here is another exquisite result of their artistry. The orange trees are willows. The small man-made lake beyond is surrounded by the weeping willows that had called me here from the road.
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Oh, yes. I will be back. Won’t you?

Love and country blessings,
Kathryn xoxo

14 Responses to “Vineyard Montage”

  1. Thank you so much for the delightful photos. You sure lifted my spirits on a dreary winter day. Beautiful!

  2. Welcome, Cheryl, and thank you so much for your kind words! I am delighted you found the blog and that it served you on a cold winter day! Kathryn xoxo

  3. I would love to see the wine country one day. My sister in Houston visited a few years ago in the fall and came back rapturous about its beauty.

  4. How Gorgeous, mom! The vineyards are so Beautiful, and you’ve captured that so well here! The horse is a very cute addition! :-)

    Love you,
    Antonia
    XOXOX

  5. Good morning, Pam! You would love it here. I highly recommend Hwy. 12 and Hwy. 128 as destinations. Though the Coppola winery in St. Helena is a fav. and of course most people go to Napa. I’m more inclined to stay in Sonoma and Mendocino Counties. This area remains my favorite in the US. Come!
    Kathryn xoxo

  6. Hi, Antonia! I’m so glad you’ve gotten to know this area so much better this year! Your hiking skills are really amazing now! Yes, that horsie is truly beautiful. i want to kiss his nose. Love, Mom xoxo

  7. I so enjoyed looking at your images. You captured the almost Technicolor quality of the light there, sometimes diffused by wisps of fog. I love those sudden decisions that you describe when taking the taking the road to the willows.
    Growing up on trips to Mendocino we would always stop at the Italian Swiss Colony at Asti. The dogs got a walk out to this kind of small gothic tower, a folly I suppose, overlooking the vineyards. We loved our “castle” in the vineyard!
    I love the last image of the willows planted by the lake, and like the tower we knew, I could imagine children making that spot their private realm.
    :)

  8. Hi, Philip! Good Sunday morning! What a sweet comment. This is another nostalgia piece for you, isn’t it? Just as your more southward posts have been for me. :) I have always wanted to take that Asti turnoff and have never taken the time. Now knowing there might still be a “small gothic tower” out there I will now go with camera in hand and see what I can find! Your childhood memory is very dear. Lucky you. :) Kathryn xoxo

  9. Kathryn: I copied the cover crop pictures and tried to blow them up to figure out what was there. I got pixilation with any level of magnification so I’m not sure. It looks like there are two plants growing in the cover crop row. The bigger, blue-green leafed plant is some kind of a legume or pea. There are several that can be grown for this purpose. They will fix nitrogen which will help fertilize the vines. I can’t tell what the other plant is. Clearly the color is more celery or yellow-green and it looks like it has three leaves in a cluster so it’s herbacious, not a grain, but that’s the best I can give you from what I see here. could it be a clover? If you have other pictures and/or if you can get good resolution on your photo with a blowup, please blow up a section as big as you can, clip it out and send it to me as a jpg and I’ll see if I can figure out what they are growing.
    Hugs from Ohio where we finally got cold, Julie

  10. Hi, my dear scientist cousin! Thank you for trying! Tonight I will send you a high resolution photo and you can maybe get a better view! Thanks!! Glad you have snow for Christmas! Kathryn xoxo

  11. Hi Kathryn. Beautiful photos and the way you’ve captured that glorious winter light is wonderful. I love the photo of the giant baubles with the willow tree, but the man made lake is just stunning ….. maybe I need to extend my pond?!!!

  12. Hi, Liz! Thank you so much! A pond is a wondrous thing to have. I’d be grateful! Glad you liked my photo journey! Kathryn xoxo

  13. Kathryn, this summer my family toured the Willamette valley in Oregon, which is home to some beautiful vineyards. Your photos are amazing and brought back some of my own memories. Your posts are always both beautiful and informative. By the way, I’m not much into wine either, but my son gave me some chocolate covered wine grapes, and they are extremely yummy.

  14. Hi, Deborah! I know some parts of rural Oregon, which is so beautiful, but not the vineyards. I must go explore some time. Thank you for your kind words. The chocolate covered wine grapes sound very delicious! Kathryn xoxo

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