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As I polished-off a whole bottle of Zinfandel, a Havana Cohiba, accompanied by "Maurice Ravel's Piano Concerto in G."

This is what I enjoyed as the colors changed in varying degrees of breathtaking beauty literally by the second. And a wonderful commune with my Creator

 

View On Black

Land of the Zin... Glorious Zinfandel vines in late Autumn plumage, in Sonoma's Dry Creek Valley appellation. This appellation is renowned for producing arguably the best Zins in the world. Zinlandia indeed.

Rage....

Blackberries, blackcurrants and pepper in fine harmony in this strong 2010-Zinfandel from Michael David Winery, California.

I had the pleasure of harvesting these grapes with my friends in the high desert this weekend. We harvested 500 pounds of these luscious zinfandel grapes. It was a ton of hard work, but what fun we had!

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After visiting Jepson Prairie Reserve on Saturday I did some reading about another site near Sacramento, so I decided to make it a vernal pools tour weekend. Sunday was a glorious spring day, and the flowers at Mather Regional Park Vernal Pools were at a peak of perfection. From this photo you might be wondering, where are the pools? They are small pools, hidden from the road by the grasses, and very nearly dry - but the flowers are plentiful at the moment. Expect “belly flowers” – mostly small and close to the ground, but worth looking for. I now have quite a backlog of wildflower shots to sort, process, and identify. Lots to look forward to!

 

If you want to visit Mather, get to the corner of Woodring Dr. and Eagle Nest Road (also called Zinfandel Drive as it approaches Highway 50) on the east side of Sacramento. Then, where you see the sign on Eagle Nest Road that says “pavement ends” just keep going south on the dirt lane. Very soon you’ll come to a tiny plaza with some informational signs, and there is a faint path headed out through the grass. Go on -- it’s fun!

 

www.regionalparks.saccounty.net/Parks/OpenSpaces/Pages/Ma...

“A million years of geology and evolution have produced the spectacular vernal pools at Sacramento's Mather Field. The vernal pools in Mather Regional Park are some of the rarest and most threatened ecosystems in the world because of the rare flowering plants and invertebrates that live in them.”

 

White Zinfandel isn't a very photogenic wine, so I jazzed it up by putting it in front of my computer monitor. I changed the background color until both the glass and the wine looked better.

For the Alphachrome game.

Wonderful day bottling our first try at Old Vine Zinfandel with my son, Mike. He did all the work and I tasted! Almost a year in the making. Mike has worked professionally in the wine industry!

www.flickr.com/photos/karenmcq/show

just one of those nights where you want to go out but can't because of the rain and cold weather and you just want to sleep after a bottle of Trader Joe's Wine...

 

Hope everyone is having a good time too tonight..

Zinlandia... Land of the Zin... Glorious Zinfandel vines in late Autumn plumage, in Sonoma's Dry Creek Valley appellation. This appellation is renowned for producing arguably the best Zins in the world. Zinlandia indeed.

Zinlandia... Land of the Zin... Glorious Zinfandel vines in late Autumn plumage, in Sonoma's Dry Creek Valley appellation. This appellation is renowned for producing arguably the best Zins in the world. Zinlandia indeed.

We planted one vine of Zinfandel

5 years ago; this is our first harvest

since. Not enough for vino, but still a great reward.

I had the pleasure of harvesting these grapes with my friends in the high desert this weekend. We harvested 500 pounds of these luscious zinfandel grapes. It was a ton of hard work, but what fun we had!

View Large On Black

Sun sets over ripe Zinfandel grapes awaiting harvest in Sonoma's Dry Creek Valley appellation, in Bill Sullivan's family vineyard. These six acres of prime Dry Creek Valley appellation grapes will grace the Mazzocco Vineyards "Sullivan Zin" single-vineyard label.

Last week I attended a Healdsburg Chamber of Commerce luncheon supporting Healdsburg’s bid to be named an official bike-friendly town. While there, several Dutcher Crossing Winery employees and I discussed the great biking in Healdsburg, and I was invited to Join Debra Mathy, Dutcher Crossing proprietor, and a few other bike enthusiasts on a tour of the scenic Dry Creek Valley the following weekend.

 

I knew this was going to be a tough biking trip since I’d start by riding ten miles just to get to the winery, not even figuring in the Dry Creek Valley tour and ride home. But I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to bike through Dry Creek with Debra, an avid cyclist.

 

When I left the house at 8 am, it was a chilly 36 degrees. I rode north from Healdsburg to Geyserville, and before descending into Dry Creek, passed a young vineyard dotted with white-plastic grow tubes, supporting young vines, and spaced in rows along a hill in such a way that reminded me of a graveyard. That just might be for me after todays long bike ride, I thought jokingly.

 

At the winery, Deb introduced herself, and the entire group of riders posed for a picture. Then we were off, heading down Dry Creek Road and crossing over to West Dry Creek Road, with its gentle rolling hills, colorful vineyards, and old oak trees canopying the narrow, winding road.

 

Now and then I’d catch the scent of fermenting grapes drifting from wineries along the road. It’s a sweet, effervescent aroma that reminds me of when I worked a harvest in Robert Mondavi’s cellar many years ago. That scent makes me long for a good glass of Pinot with lunch. After about a half hour ride, we looped back along Dry Creek Road and returned to the winery, where we were greeted by the tail wagging of Dutchess, the Golden Lab winery dog.

 

I was then escorted into the tasting room to a full reserve wine tasting led by Wine Club Manager Brittany Galvan. We started off with Sauvignon Blanc, moved onto Chardonnay, Zinfandel, and then Cabernets, many of which were vineyard designated wines. I relished in the aromas and flavors of the wines, learning of winemaker Kerry Damskey strong propensity toward blending. He blends his Cabernet Sauvignon with Syrah, a newer technique to California, but which has been used for decades in Australia. Brittany noted that the vineyard designated Cabernet Sauvignon-Syrah blend is the first of its kind in Dry Creek Valley.

 

After the tasting, Brittany gave me the full tour that included the picnic area with outdoor fireplace and a spectacular view of rolling hills covered in orange, red, and yellow vineyards. Most of the grapes have been harvested and now ferment in tanks. Although extreme weather conditions have made this harvest a rough one for many area vineyard owners, Dutcher Crossing did well by getting their estate grapes in on time.

 

After the tour, I parked myself under the shade of an olive tree to paint the winery. I would have liked to paint a wider view of the building surrounded by vineyards, trees and hills, but couldn’t resist this almost storybook view, highlighting the flowers in the garden and its winding wooden fence. Off in the distance, Poppy Hill is blanketed in colorful grapevines.

 

Hungry and tired from the day’s work and pleasures, I headed home in the warmth of the afternoon sun. By the time I walked in the door, I felt exhausted, but it was worth it. What a fun day of bike riding, sketching, and wine tasting. Not to mention the great time I had riding around the Dry Creek Valley with Debra and meeting her staff at the winery.

Wasn't sure which one to use as my New Year card,

this or the one I did post - so thought I'd post this today as I have nothing new to post.

 

I'm feeling a lot better today, still a few niggles, but I think that's from overstretching while taking the decorations down earlier today.......

back to work/school tomorrow - this holiday went by far too quickly :-(

was hoping to go up and get my Castle Coch vista photo today, but didn't have time, it's a little late too, I'll have to do it on the weekend.

I am first, if it is okay with you, going to take a moment before I post the final installment of Frankie and Annette’s day out, to say a HUGE THANK YOU to each of you who have stuck through this with me …. I dare say it must have been as difficult for some of you to keep coming back as it was for me to create it... LOL.

 

You need to know that I never take a single visit or kind word from anyone for granted. I see each of you as a gift and each comment the bows that decorate those gifts.

__________________________________________________________________

NOW

 

While the Drive-in played their subliminal messages into peoples minds during the advertisements Music was playing over the speakers during intermission as people gathered at the concession booth getting their popcorn and coke's pushing and shoving so that they could get back and not miss a moment of the conclusion,

 

Rosé

(From French: rosé, ‘pinkish’).

My weapon of choice White Zinfandel,

But today, just to aid in the need I have to bend the rules, we will call it by the French term.

 

Many of you have voiced your hope that Frankie would break the rule for me by giving his one true love, Annette, flowers today.

 

Well as much as I have thought of ways to have him do so, I also know that would just be too A-typical. And that would have been the easy way out......

 

No, Frankie had no money of his own to go buy any, and it was one thing to jump into my glass of wine and hope to survive, it is a whole other ballgame if he goes tiptoeing through my tulips and starts stealing my flowers. Besides I needed this to mean something to each of you. Otherwise it would have been like wasting your time, and your time is precious to me. That is why I have tried (and man this was the hardest part for me) to keep the words to a bare minimum, allowing the pictures to tell the story as much as possible. I know that there is simplicity to this whole series that was by no means meant to be childlike. Far from it, the movies of the 50’s and 60’s are what formed who I am today.

 

I grew up believing that it was normal for people to break out into song for no reason at all and the words would just come to you. I believed that love was real and when I found it, it would last forever. I thought that people always said what they meant and meant what they said.

 

I also longed for the day I would be old enough to wear Gold Lame' slippers every day of my life and wash my hair with “Fanci-Full Blue,Minx” Well now you do not need to be an old lady going to a dance where you took your shoes off and put on gold or silver slippers to dance in...everyone wears gold and silver whenever they want and Fanci-Full is hard to find. I know accept that I have not got the voice that people want to hear break into song nor the grace to dance down the aisle of a grocery store singing the praises of some product that I just picked up off a shelf without knocking things down all over the place. But I still believe that Honesty is the only policy. I KNOW I found TRUE LOVE 32 years ago and that will never change. Because Divorce costs too much and Murder…. What good is your freedom in Jail?

AND ALL THOSE SONGS AND MOVIES STILL MAKE ME CRY

 

Stay Tuned Chapter # 6 will be here in matter of hours.

   

A red barn awaits the sunrise on the northern slope of the Dry Creek Valley, among the recently harvested gnarled old-vine Zinfandel grape vines set ablaze in the autumn vineyard foliage. This is a typical autumn scene in the Dry Creek Valley appellation of Sonoma county, near the town of Healdsburg, California.

Selective brightness / contrast. Sharpen. Resize for web.

 

In other words, yes, that moon is ACTUAL size. No photoshop on it. No enlarging it. Just a fabulous moonset in the heart of the Russian River Valley. Near Santa Rosa, California.

 

When in Oregon, everyone thinks of HWY101, as a nice and long peaceful coastal highway, with spectacular views of hills to the left (as your going south), and the great Pacific Ocean to your right. Here in California (as far as I've noticed), it's more of like an I-5, but on the western side of a coastal range. It's literally a freeway. They're equivalent of the Oregon portion of 101 is HWY1, which is a spectacular road as well. I'll have photos of that later.

The outtakes from the Zinfandel bottle.

I just thought they were too funny

It's a snow day here, has anyone else had enough of winter?

 

Image shot for week four of the #AT52 Project.

 

Looking east from Zinfandel Road near Douglas Road in Rancho Cordova, CA.

Shot on The Impossible Project's PX680 film.

 

#0004 | August 25, 2013

 

"...you're my only hope."

 

Zinfandel, Queen of the geeks, re-enacts a famous Star Wars scene.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=jLx0BCjtxx8

 

I've been planning this since I got the little costume. And then I found this awesome R2-D2! Ran out of daylight today, but the counter makes a pretty good studio. :)

 

Um...yes, I seem to have acquired UT. It was the "ultimate" opportunity. :)

 

ADED 38/365

Chophouse, Milwaukee Hilton, at the bar

 

Late night indulgence.

Zinfandel for the Infidel :) Stu and I had a glass of this wine last evening. It is very nice and a dry wine. What I loved was the color of the wine.

 

light and wine.

 

I do like me some California red. Except zinfandel.

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