It has been a busy month!

For Lynn’s birthday, he and I stole some time away and took a vacation to the Galapagos and Machu Picchu. In the Galapagos, we were on The Grace, the boat that Aristotle Onassis gave Princess Grace of Monaco for her wedding, and on which she and Prince Rainier spent their honeymoon. The boat is almost 60 years old, and definitely past its prime, but was our home away from home for the week.

Separated from civilization, 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador, with no access to email, newspapers or the phone, we were blissfully relaxed. Each day, we took trips to different islands, walked among nesting birds (completely unafraid of humans), snorkeled with sea lions, penguins, turtles and tropical fish.

Interesting fact – among all of the species on these islands, where Darwin developed his theory of evolution, the female chooses the male. Another interesting fact – during the 7 days that the 12 of us were on the boat, we drank 68 bottles of wine that Bibiana, our talented winemaker, chose for us from around the world  – you could call it a working vacation.

The second week of our vacation was spent in Peru, an interesting mix of Spanish, Quechua and Inca, West African and Japanese cultures, which must explain the very wonderful food.  The Peruvians have 35 varieties of corn and 200 varieties of potatoes. We tried Pisco, the national drink, but stayed with Argentinean, Chilean and Peruvian wines.

The highlight, of course, was Machu Picchu, the Inca city in the clouds.

Meanwhile, back home, at Lynmar, the  team watched in dismay as it rained day after day after day. Traffic to the tasting room slowed and the moisture dampened even the most optimistic spirits. There was worry about set and it was clear that 2011 would be another year when farming practices would be the crucial differentiator in the quality of the vintage.

When we came back, the sun came out. The yellow in the vineyards turned back to green, the Wine Spectator scores were published (all 12 2009 pinots scored over 90 points), and the Press Democrat ran a feature about David, our chef. We also launched our Pinot and Pizza program for the season. Exulting in the rain, our gardens are bursting with color and vitality. Spirits are up, we are back and summer is here!

New Wine in New Bubbles
Blend Trials
Recipe for Epicurean Feast
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