Thursday, May 14, 2009

A Short Visit to Wine Country

On the recommendation of a friend, I stopped in briefly at Chateau Lafayette Reneau, an award-winning small vineyard on the eastern cliffs above Lake Seneca. I ended up getting four different bottles of wine to take home and enjoy later. A very nice little place, despite the rather daunting name.

The reason this part of New York state is wine country is because of the very suitable microclimates on the shores above the lakes, with good drainage, good soil, and plenty of sunshine and rain.

Not to mention some gorgeous views.

When I was at CLR, it was a Saturday and the region was flooded by college students doing wine tours, which means doing wine tastings at several vineyards in the region in one day. Some of them were getting a bit tipsy. But they were all on buses or in vans with designated drivers, so I didn't worry overmuch. They did crowd the tasting bars with their chatter, though.

Which led to a moment of humorous existential revelation: Apparently, I've either grown up or grown old. There was more than one young college-age young man and woman in prep-school dress—you couldn't tell if they're Ivy Leaguers dressing up or dressing down—on their cellphones or chatting with their peers. And their talk was, well, just inane. That's a period of life in which we still carry forward all the concerns of youth: appearance, peer group dynamics, social hierarchies, and the intensity of first loves. It's also a period of life in which we're intended to start thinking for ourselves, exploring the world outside the familiar home, and spreading our wings as individuals. There was a lot of the former type of talk going on, and almost none of the latter. Well, this was a vacation day for them, I suppose. I'm the last to begrudge anyone their fun, nor would I be the first to judge them for whatever kind of fun they find.

I do remember the pleasures of getting slightly tipsy in the company of friends, at that age, although for me in Michigan it was usually pizza and beer after Men's Glee Club rehearsals. I rarely drank otherwise.

In all, though, it was a pointed reminder that I've moved on. Or maybe grown up some. Because none of what they were caring deeply about, and loudly, was of any concern to me anymore.

Or perhaps it was a commentary on spring arriving, the sap rising, the juices flowing, the new growth opening flowers in both plants and certain mammal species often still largely ruled by their hormones.

And then there was the Green House, proving that whimsy still has a home here.

And forsythia everywhere.

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Blogger Dave King said...

I agree re the superb views. Fascinating places, vineyards, I always think - especially if you haven interest in the final product! Thanks for that post.

5:51 AM  
Blogger Art Durkee said...

The final product, indeed. I'm actually fascinated by every aspect of the wine-making process. I've lived in some major US vineyard regions, so maybe that accounts for it.

Thanks for the comments.

7:57 AM  

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