With spring all around, this past week reminded me of why the wine country is like no other place. It is just dreamy to live here. Amongst the budding vines are hints of purple, pink and yellow wildflowers. Birds are singing. Butterflies are flying. Blubs are blooming.
In some ways, spring is like the perfect chardonnay. A beautiful smell like budding flowers, delicate tastes with a buttery finish that evoke thoughts of walking barefoot through new spring grass.
Spring in Sonoma also means the Sonoma International Film Festival. It is a unique time when the Hollywood vibe mixes with the casual country. Glamorous tourists decorate the square wearing their Jimmy Choo stilettos which makes for prime people watching especially considering the uneven cobblestone streets. Local businesses host a variety of events and film showings. And, the town is bustling with activity.
An intimate event was hosted by Roche Winery, where guests were able to mingle with those involved in the film Favor, including the actors. Personally, something about actors makes me turn into a bumbling idiot. Somehow my educational training in being able to ask a myriad of questions and think on the spot goes off into the universe for a moment. And, the conversation becomes something like I would have had with a guy I had a crush on when I was in elementary school. Actor – “Hi, I’m an actor.” Me – “wow.” Actor – “well, I was in Star Trek.” Me – “really [pause] wow. ” In any event, luckily there were other folks who chimed into the conversation.
All in all though, the evening was an exceptional wine country experience especially since it was paired with my all time favorite wine, the estate chardonnay by Roche Winery. Oh Roche Winery, however do you create such a rich and enjoyable chardonnay? Whatever you’re doing, please keep doing it and I’ll keep buying it.
There was only one thing that could make it better, exceptional nibbles. As luck would have it Mara Roche created a delicious spread oozing with flavor, love and wine country personality. Deviled eggs with wasabi essence, hand crafted Thai spring rolls, tri tip sandwiches, and goat cheese with quince tantalized my palate while complimenting the wines being poured.
The next morning, I took my boys out to have some wine country fun. We stopped by the Studdert Family Farm where some newborn lambs were just getting acquainted with farm life. I’m not sure who liked meeting the lambs more, me or the boys. There is nothing quite like watching your little ones meet something that’s even younger than they are. The pureness of a one day old lamb is breathtaking. Bobby loved petting the lambs while CJ enjoyed chasing them around the barn.
After the boys had tormented the lambs enough, it was time for walk. We walked our favorite loop winding through budding grape vines, past llamas and near a few parked train cars. Of course, walks with two little guys are leisurely to say the least. They are a favorite way to enjoy an entire morning. So, we had to stop at the trains.
The boys climbed aboard the trains and pretended to steer the train down the track. While they were having their choo choo bliss, a couple of out of towners were passing by. Wearing Premiere Passes to the Film Festival and impressively sized diamond earrings, they stopped to admire the boys and chat. For the second time in a 24 hour period, I had another star struck stupid moment. The guy with crystal grey blue eyes and friendly stature was strikingly similar to Jeff Bridges. In any event, we chatted about my boys’ zest for trains and, how wonderful Sonoma is. After all where else can little ones climb on parked train cars at a kid’s park with the sound of live music from a farmers market beaming in the background?
Was it Jeff Bridges? I’ll never know. All I do know is that it doesn’t matter, even if it was, it shows how enjoyable this town is for all especially in spring. For those of you who don’t believe me, then come check it out.