I’m not sure that the bartender appreciated me walking behind her bar to take this shot … but I just could not help myself!
A trip to New Zealand would just not be complete without a visit to a winery, and we were fortunate to have Rippon within walking distance. No matter the wine, the view alone is worth the visit.
Is that not incredible? Stunning!
During the tasting we learned that “the winegrowing team’s principal commitment is to the soil. Nurturing a healthy, responsive medium underfoot binds the vines and the people to their land. Biodynamic farming and no irrigation help the vine drive energy into its seed and issue raw material that is capable of fostering wines that are true to their place”.
My favorite of the wines that we tasted was the Pinot Noir. The winery also produces a Sauvignon Blanc, an Osteiner, a Gerwurtztraminer, and an Riesling. Of course, part of the fun of any tasting is the people you are with.
After the tasting, we enjoyed playing with photography,
and hanging out in the Chair for Contemplation.
Finally, with no Designated Driver required, we walked home.
What better way to celebrate my mother’s birthday than at the Williamsburg Winery.
My parents live in Williamsburg, Virginia, a place that many people visit for the shopping.
I visit for family. And history. And the food and wine, of course.
We started with a visit to the tasting room where Calvin, the young but knowledgeable wine steward, not only introduced the wines but offered the history behind the labels and names.
This bottle of Acte 12 of 1619 was named after the Act that was passed by the 1619 House of Burgesses requiring all male households in Virginia to grow ten vines of the imported vinifera grapes from Europe.
How’s that for encouraging the growth of the wine industry in the new country?
How fortunate am I to have such incredible parents?
Once done with our tasting, we enjoyed a delicious lunch at the Gabriel Archer Tavern.
Gabriel Archer was one of the first settlers to set foot on land near the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay in late April 1607, moving on to Jamestown in August that same year.
We were having so much fun that I barely pulled out the camera, and the images in this post are a mix of camera and phone.
I wish I’d had more time to shoot the scene,
but really, I was just glad to have been able to spend the day with my parents and celebrate my mother.
Happy Birthday, Mom!
Instead of attending to the ever present “to do” list, I sent a last minute text to my friend Amy and visited a new winery.
Iron Heart Winery may be new, but the land it sits on is definitely not. “Nestled in the beautiful Appalachian Mountains in Allisonia, Va., the charming family-owned winery is located in an Industrial Revolution-era farm dating back to the 19th century, providing a rustic and modern atmosphere for visitors to its historic grounds” (Savora.com)
Since we only had a couple hours, I didn’t spend as much time learning the history of this farm and winery as I would have liked. It was hard to miss this blast furnace which was once used to convert iron ore to more usable types of iron. The winery website, much to my delight, is full of the history of the farm and the surrounding community. These folks aren’t wine lovers who decided to open a winery, rather a family who wanted to preserve the land. ❤
“In 2010 the winery started planting vineyards and established their Farm Stay, where you can rent cabins on the property for a lovely weekend getaway. After years of perfecting their grapes for distribution, Iron Heart finally opened the winery to the public in 2017. Currently they are producing Vidal Blanc, Riesling, Rosé, Cabernet Franc, Chardonnay and Chambourcin wine styles” (Savor.com)
We were greeted by Rosie, and then entered the tasting room, which is converted from an original corncrib.
The family built this gorgeous stone fire place, and I look forward to sitting by the fire this coming fall and winter.
All the labels celebrate the strength of women in the fashion of Rosie the Riveter, and all of the models were family members or friends.
How can you not love that?!
The day was perfect with bright sunshine, almost too bright for photography, and a steady breeze. We enjoyed the patio, and playing fetch with Rosie,
Then we took our glasses and walked around the property.
Before we left, Adam, the owner, took us into the wine making room (I’m sure that is NOT what it is really called) and offered us a taste from the cask. What a treat! The man is working full time in his “real” job and more than full time in this job / hobby, yet he could not have been more interesting, inviting, and generous with his time.
What a fun, impromptu afternoon.
The ‘to do” list remains, but I have no regrets.
For more about the history of the farm, check visit this link from my friend Brooke Wood, reporter from the Southwest Times.
After spending most of the weekend happily knocking multiple items off the to do list, it was so nice to receive an invite to a wine tasting.
We only had an hour, but sometimes that is all that is needed for a respite from work.
There was time to laugh with a dear friend,
and with the women who were conducting the tasting.
As an added bonus, I got to a little shooting.
Despite my rusty trigger finger, it felt good to play with the camera.
Perhaps I’ll stop back by to do a little shopping.
All in all, it was a lovely way to spend an hour,
and it’s beginning to feel like the holidays.
While on the way to meet my parents and son in Charlottesville for a Mothers Day lunch, I took a brief detour to King Family Vineyard.
Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, the vineyard offers near 360 views.
The visit was brief (just one little sip of wine),
but the detour was worth it (even if I did get fussed at for pulling over onto the grass to catch this reflection).
The best part of the day, though? Time with my parents and son!
Hope the day was lovely for you as well!
Have you visited Monochromia yet? If you love B&W Photography, you really should visit this collaborative blog, chock full of wonderfully different images from a talented group of photographers.
Family and Friends.
I’m so very fortunate to have been loved and surrounded by both this past year, and I truly believe that I would not be where I am today without them. One year ago this coming Saturday, the final destination of a 4 day fall bike trip was the Harvest Festival at a winery in North Carolina. After being struck while riding my motorcycle through an intersection, the plans changed dramatically.
As the anniversary of the wreck drew nearer, friends and I talked about ways to recognize the one year mark. If I think too much about the wreck, it freaks me out (just a bit!), so I just keep focusing on celebrating life!
My friend Amy suggested that we come full circle and “finish” last year’s trip. So despite the rain, we headed off to North Carolina’s Wine Country. Home to more than 100 wineries, we decided to visit 3 of them. Amy doesn’t ride, so we took off in the truck.
I’m sure you’ll not be surprised to hear that I have many, many photos to process, but I wanted to share a few with you today. It rained on and off the whole time but we had a blast none the less.
Thank you, Amy, for coming full circle with me!
As you read this post, I’m driving to Pittsburgh with my friend Ruth to watch the Virginia Tech / University of Pittsburgh Football Game.
Life never offers me a dull moment, and I’m doing my best to practice gratitude daily!
Our local wine and beer shop, Barrel Caves Wines, devotes one evening every month to women. The Divas gather for wine and tapas and friendship, and my camera is alway ready to capture the fun.
Kathy makes sure that the flowers are fresh,
the food delicious,
and the wine chosen just for us.
This particular night offered an extra treat. As we walked out the door, feeling relaxed after another great evening, we were treated to this gorgeous sunset.
Not a bad way to support local business!
The women rush through the kitchen door, hands burdened with bags of food from a quick run to the store, and faces burdened with the cares and worries of the day. Each one feels sure she is the only overwhelmed one in the group, but very quickly realizes that she is not alone.
The house is cluttered with the detritis of the week … piles of mail on the table, various pairs of shoes scattered about on the floor, books perched on every surface … but the porch chairs have been brushed clear and the table tops are clean.
The food is quickly laid out on the table,
flowers placed in a vase,
and the candles are lit.
The talk that initially bursts forth after being surpressed all day eventually calms, and the women begin to relax, surrounded by friends who know and understand.
The porch offers a welcome respite from the world, even if temporary.
And we breathe …