Saturday, October 17, 2015

Heritage Oak Winery - new but old friends

Marianne belongs to a few forums, one of which is Paper Artists Online. She has known one of the members from Lodi California for many years through the forum, but this was their first chance to actually meet.

Marianne, Farley, Bob and Tom who owns the winery.

The owner's house.

Tables for eating food and drinking wine of course.

Where the wine is made.

Where the grapes are grown. They have several blocks of land and grow quite a few varieties.

Farley and Bob are keen bird watchers and they come out regularly to the winery where there are appropriate habitats for the local birds, in this case, blue birds.

Notice the owl on the wall of the tank.

Sand Hill Cranes in flight. Apparently this was a rarity for this time of year.

They can be up to four feet high.

Left over grapes from the harvest which have dried to become raisins. They were delicious and I wish I could have put them in my Christmas pudding.

Farley and Bob took us for a walk down the nature trail by the Mokelumne River.

I walked with Bob while Marianne and Farley celebrated finally being able to meet. Bob is a few months older than me and we had an interesting discussion about our work histories and how we try to stay healthy.

It was probably in the mid eighties with noticeable humidity but still pleasant and easy walking.

The river. Bob and Farley go kayaking on it.

Unpicked grapes.

A good place to rest on the other side of the river.

This letter is important for some reason or other.

Having completed the walk, it was time for a tasting of the wine.

They don't do random breath tests in this area so I was able to try very small portions of all of their wines. They are very well made and I particularly enjoyed some of the Zinfandels, the Zinjo and the Petit Verdot. Of the whites, I preferred the Chenin Blanc which showed more flavour to me.

You can see the wine list here.

Tom, the owner, is also a very good pianist. Take a listen and you might be able to pick out some Handel over the babble of voices.

It is interesting how our brains work to focus on certain sounds and disregard others. I could quite easily make out the sound of the piano while I was recording the video, but it is so difficult listening to the recording itself.

Sloshed friends.

I have forgotten the name of the young lady (Julie?) but she was very friendly and had recently got married.

Humming bird feeder with one bird. A couple of seconds before there were three birds.

A truck appeared delivering new barrels. They cost over $400 each.

The dog who owns the winery and inspects all the visitors to keep the riff-raff out. Somehow I was let in. It must be because Tom the owner and I wear the same brand and style of boots.

Farley had prepared a delicious vegan lunch. They changed to this diet several years ago after Bob had some health problems and it has achieved marvels for them,

It was such a lovely day and a great example of the Californian life style. You could get used to it, I suppose.


  1. Looks like you had a nice visit. The importance of the letter will forever be a mystery, I suppose.

  2. Well it certainly will be a mystery to me, which is probably just as well.


  3. I hope someone will let us know about the letter. Great pictures.

  4. What a terrific photo of the Barn Owl, Ray! (Hailey was our wine pourer.)

    As for the letter, it was a very clever and wonderful Halloween card that Marianne made for me....picture a bird wrapped in gauze like a mummy! She hand delivered it rather than mail it. We both belong to Paper Artists Online and had a recent Halloween card swap.