A few months ago our life-long friends, Tony and Debbi Comparin suggested we take a little vacation. Internets, I have to confess something (relax, that mole turned out to be perfectly normal) Charlotte and I needed a vacation. We were ready, with a Capital RED and a triple EEE.
Didn't even ask Tony where, just said put us down for adjoining seats on the next American flight out of DFW. How 'bout we go to Napa? Tony asked. Dude, I answered, you had me at NAP.
So, about four months later Charlotte and I found ourselves in a nice little bungalow at the lovely Yountville Inn in beautiful Yountville, CA. If you like wine, (show of hands?) Yountville is kinda like being a kid and discovering you've just been dropped off at Santa's workshop two weeks before Christmas. Yeah, it's that great.
It didn't take us long to unpack and begin our walking wine tour. We didn't know where we were going, but in Yountville just about any street will take you to a tasting room. See what I mean about great?
Three blocks from the Inn we found MY PEOPLE - The Hill Family Estate Winery Tasting Room *sound of angelic choir singing the Hallelujah Chorus*.
I had no idea I had people in the wine bidness. I thought all of my relatives were
dead or in jail occupied in other worthwhile pursuits.
It was our first tasting, so my inside voice (which Charlotte says I don't use nearly enough) told me to go s l o w. That was a great strategy UNTIL we met the Hill Family Estate Winery Tasting Room Divas Robin and April.
They rolled out some of Hill's finest. We began with their 2009 Sauvignon Blanc and progressed to their 2007 Stewart Ranch Pinot Noir. Pourings of their 2006 Origin, Cabernet Sauvignon and Clarke Vineyard Syrah followed in a leisurely progression.
I've been a wine drinker for decades and never had a better wine experience. Anywhere.
Hill Family Estate Winery Tasting Room Divas
These were laid back hosts who treated us like we were their only guests (we weren't) and explained each wine without any hint of snobbery. I didn't hesitate when Charlotte asked if I'd like to buy some wine.
Charlotte: Which one would you like?
Bob: ALL of them.
Charlotte: Could you narrow it down a little?
Bob: OK, that one and that one and of course, THAT ONE.
Charlotte: Which is your favorite?
Bob: The one where after one sip I shouted, CALL A DOCTOR AND FIND OUT HOW I CAN REPLACE ALL OF MY BODILY FLUIDS WITH THIS AMAZING LIQUID.
Charlotte: Inside voice, please.
Bob (whispering): that one.
Before it was over, Tony, Debbi, Charlotte and I had purchased some wine to be shipped home. Robin said it'd be delivered when it got a little cooler in Texas (translation for non-Texans: November).
We learned a lot about wine that afternoon, but I like to think we gave a little, too (MasterCard receipts aside). Like a lot of Southern Boomers, we're always looking for ways to convert the masses to our way of thinking.
The Tasting Room Divas were unwise to the ways of Lynyrd Skynyrd, so Charlotte imparted her knowledge of Free Bird (ask about her video).
And I couldn't resist the chance to discuss the superiority of a 12ga shotgun versus a .410 (Note to Ryan Hill - Dude, dump the .410 in the Double Barrel Cabernet Sauvignon gift box. To every self-respecting Texan this just screams "Wuss").
As we walked out of the Hill Family Estate Winery Tasting Room, I told Charlotte that I've been a Hill for almost 55 years and I had no idea we were in the wine bidness. Charlotte smiled, because even though I was outside I was using my inside voice.
That's when I shouted, THESE ARE MY PEOPLE.
I really have to work on my inside voice.
Robin and April thanks for being so nice to the Texas Baby Boomers. This one's for you.