Saturday, March 12

Wine Geek Gathering

Today was the annual volunteer gathering at Autumn Hill Vineyard and Winery. You may or may not be aware of the fact that I am an amateur wine educator. A couple of times a year I drive about an hour an a half north to pour wine for events at Autumn Hill. I have the opportunity to get my "wine geek"on! The event today was pretty much 30 folks like me gathering to catch up, drink wine and eat. I believe that the 30 of us drank 4 cases of wine!

I first met Ed (the winemaker) and Avra (his wife/boss) the year I decided to make visiting wineries in Virginia a personal quest. That year I visited every single one in the state! disclaimer: two of the wineries were closed when I went to visit - so I sat in the driveway and saluted them and counted them anyway. But still - I visited 63 or 64 wineries. It was a great year. And I discovered a lot of good wine and great people.

Autumn Hill is only open for 3 events every year, 2 weekends per that year I had to schedule my visit there carefully to be certain that I didn't miss the opportunity. The event I went to was the summer event in the winery. And I just fell in love with the wine, the setting and especially Ed and Avra. They are now both retired from their original jobs - he was in the garment industry (I think) and she was a teacher (I'm sure about that one). Ed is a great wine maker because he does it for himself. He doesn't like sweet wines and so he doesn't make any. He loves what he does and has put up with my questions for ages now. I keep telling him that I want to be just like him when I grow up.

So today I spent a wonderful 4 hours in the mountains of Greene County enjoying wine and conversation with a bunch of other wine geeks. And Avra made her usual menu: ham, bagels and cheese soufflé. Yeah - cheese soufflé. She is incredible.

And then I got to watch the end of the sunset by the river back here (drinking more wine and eating more nibbles - no soufflé though...) It was a great ending to a great day. Tomorrow I will go back to being useful.


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