When you wake up on the next to the last day of November to discover a warm, balmy day outside and it's three weeks until the official start of winter, it is worth appreciating. I don't know if you noticed, but it didn't even smell like November today; the scent of the warm air overtook the smell of decaying leaves, a truly lovely thing.
But what to do with such a gorgeous day? In my book, a great way to appreciate a beautiful day is a road trip and it didn't take any convincing at all to get B.G.F. on board and heading west to Pollak Vineyards in Greenwood, on the other side of Charlottesville. Founded in 2003 and opened to the public in 2008, this small family-owned winery was a first for both us, which is saying something because B.G.F. has made a hobby of tasting his way across the state. None of the reds had the kind of weight and body I seek out, but they're new to this, so perhaps there will be improvement with time. After all, you can't expect a 22-year old girl to have the personality and intellect of a 40-year old woman, either. There's no substitute for time, as a stoned musician once sang.
Heading east to Barboursville, we went to Burnley Vineyards, one of the older vineyards in that area. B.G.F. knows the owners and had visited many times, so we had a very cordial and leisurely tasting as everyone caught up with each other. There was even some wine geek talk of Thomas Jefferson's wine preferences and drinking habits. B.G.F. is particularly fond of their Riesling, so some came back with us in the trunk of his car. I was surprised to see they had a Zinfandel for tasting since it's not a grape grown in Virginia; I was not surprised to learn that they buy the grapes elsewhere.
The last time B.G.F. and I spent the day wine tasting was over the Labor Day weekend and the temperature was much cooler than today. On the other hand, the drive back that time was in broad daylight and tonight's was post-sunset and getting darker by the mile, despite having left at close to the same time. Tonight, the darkening sky was really something to behold with a dramatic cloud band of contrasting blues and grays, gradually giving way to those cotton batting type clouds surrounding the moon.
I think the weather gods would heartily approve of our spending today driving the countryside, admiring the scenery and tasting the fruits of the earth. It certainly worked for me.