Serendipity is always interesting when it happens. About the time we entered California, a friend and former colleague sent a note via LinkedIn congratulating me on my work (non-)anniversary. I haven’t changed LinkedIn to say I’m retired, and we’d been out of touch for a few years. It was great hearing from him, but the big surprise is that he had moved from Minnesota to Silicon Valley. After exchanging mutual “what are you doing in California” emails, we agreed to meet when Oma and I headed north from Yosemite.
We met at our campground in Lodi, and after catching up for a bit, headed out to taste some wine. They suggested checking out Bogle Vineyards. I wasn’t sure what to expect. Bogle is widely available, and although I’ve considered them to be among the better value supermarket wines at their price point, our past experiences tasting at bigger wine operations left me a bit concerned that it would be busy and institutional. Still, most of the wineries we visit are ones we are not familiar with, so curiosity won out.
It turns out that as they grew, they left the tasting room at their original winery location, but (with the occasional exception) all of the wine making and storage is now elsewhere. The upside is that their tasting room experience is like that of much smaller wineries. Our tasting was very enjoyable, although the company of our friends helped a lot. Our friends had packed wine-friendly snacks, so we bought two bottles of wine and picnicked overlooking the vineyards.
After our leisurely lunch, we had managed one winery and it was already 4:00 pm. With time for only one more, we arbitrarily chose Klinker Brick Winery to finish our day. The hostess was more interested in another group than us, but we did enjoy our tastings and found a few wines that we liked. We bought a nice $17 Zinfandel and our friends purchased a couple of wines as well. I’d like to come back to the area again some time and check out some other wineries. My impression after today was that the area has some nice wines at reasonable prices.
With the area wineries now closed for the day, we made our way back to our friends’ campsite for a dinner of pie iron Rueben’s, apple pies, beer and wine. They loved the pie irons and it sounds like they may get some. Well past my bedtime we finally said our goodbyes and headed back to our home.
I’ve heard that less is more when it comes to wine tasting, although two wineries from a day of wine tasting may be carrying that farther than intended. But it was a fantastic day to catch up with friends, and I am so glad that serendipity struck. After being on our own since leaving the kids in Texas, and not being able to connect with our Texas friends, it was really wonderful that we unexpectedly were able to meet and spend the day with “Minnesota” friends here in California.