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Waking up in a Vineyard

I discovered my love of wine on a trip to wine country back in 2006. It wasn’t just about the wine but more about the romance of wine country, beautiful vineyards and perfect rows of vines set on rolling hills for as far as the eye could see. The allure of a vineyard and the realization that I could be standing among the vines in California or Spain or France or where my ancestors came from in Italy and it is virtually the same everywhere. People growing grapes, tending the vines, harvesting and producing wine, the practices are universal. It’s the passion for what they do and the end result that is the commonality and something that intrigues me.

For me, there has always been something mystical about a vineyard whether it’s at the height of the season with a lush, green canopy protecting bunches of juicy fruit, or in the fall where red, orange and gold leaves are barely hanging on, or even the dead of winter, stark naked branches, hibernating to protect itself until spring. I am drawn to the beauty, the history and the narrative of it.

As is usually the case when we visit a wine region, I am drawn first to the vineyard where a winery is set and then to the architecture that houses the tasting room, equipment, and wine storage. On a recent trip to Paso, we visited Pelletiere Estate and Vineyards located in the foothills of the Willow Creek District. I felt an immediate connection to the land and the feel of the winery itself, warm, welcoming and somehow familiar. That day we were fortunate enough to have Janis Denner, the owner of Pelletier, guide us through the tasting, the history of the property and wine production. At the end of the tasting, she gave us a tour of the property. We were pleasantly surprised to find not one but two beautiful guest houses on the property, a 2 bedroom, The Farmhouse, and a charming 1 bedroom cottage, The Eastwood Casita. Both were enticing and very inviting.

Fast forward 4 months, we returned to Paso and were fortunate enough to stay in the cottage. We drove up on a Friday afternoon and were greeted by vineyard sheep - my favorite being Sangio! Janis met us in the winery and took us over to the cottage. She did a walkthrough, showed us how to use the heater, the pellet fireplace and explained how to access the property after-hours. She then left us with a bottle of wine to settle in and start our weekend.

Situated on the edge of the estate vineyard, there were gorgeous views of the property and beyond from every window. Although it was mid-December the fall colors were still stunning, even in the dreary rain. The immaculate cottage is perfectly decorated with cheery yellow walls, comfortable seating, and a well-equipped kitchen. No detail was missed in creating a space that felt homey and warm from the fireplace to the cozy blanket on the couch to the luxurious bedding it was designed for rest and relaxation.

The highlight for me was waking up early both days to the view of the vineyard and sound of the birds. We spent leisurely mornings enjoying the view, savoring our coffee and strolling the property. In the evenings, wine in hand, watching the sunset across the horizon and relishing the quiet around us. Our wine weekends are usually rushed and packed with activity but this weekend we vowed to take advantage of the beautiful setting and take in the experience. Waking up in a vineyard was magical and the stay at the cottage at Pelletiere Estate truly the ultimate in peace and serenity.


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