What do you get when you combine strawberries and wine? A fabulous weekend excursion!
The event was just as exciting this time around. Our first stop once we arrived was the Long Grove Cafe. Obviously, we wanted to be properly fueled before filling up on strawberries and sweets. 😉 The cafe had an amazing array of options; I decided to go with the Spinach Salad, which was made with fresh spinach, goat cheese, bacon, red pepper and red onion and served with an Asian Orange Vinaigrette.
This salad was as beautiful as it was delicious. I’m such a fan of fresh goat cheese! The dressing had a hint of peanut in it, too. I wish I would have asked for the recipe.
Once we finished eating, it was time to explore the land of berries.
Our first stop may look familiar – just a few months ago, this booth was dedicated to all things apple!
This time around, we picked up strawberry donuts. My, my, these were amazing!
Perfectly doughy and sweet, with just the right amount of strawberry flavor. We meandered around the festival with our donuts for a while, snapping a few fun pictures in the sunlight.
It was a gorgeous day!
Then we remembered that there was an absolute must-see, which has nothing to do with apples or strawberries. Perhaps you may also recall…THE GREAT GRAPE!
There is nothing more refreshing than cool grapes covered in chocolate. Jill and I went a little crazy once we found them. I think the woman was a bit surprised by our enthusiasm — she told us to like them on Facebook. Done and done. 😉
We wandered around a bit longer, ooh-ing and ahh-ing at the various strawberry concoctions.
Once we were satisfied we had covered every corner, we made our way to Valentino Vineyards.
Lauren had been talking about this winery for weeks, so we were all delighted when a Groupon for a tasting magically appeared into our inbox just days before we were scheduled to go. When we got there, we were greeted by Rudolph Valentino himself.
He was quite the character — let me tell you. Rudolph walked us through the vineyard, describing the various grapes and the process for making his wines. It was very cool to see the early stages. Everything was so green and beautiful. Below was the Marechal Foch grape.
Eventually, we headed indoors for our tasting.
We were given a sampling of five different wines: two whites and three reds.
I only took a picture of a few since I assumed they would all look quite similar. 😉 Below is a list with links to the website, if you are interested. I found the Cabernet Franc to be the smoothest and best tasting, and the Port White was my least favorite (it had cognac in it and was too strong).
- Seyval Blanc 2003
- Port White 2001
- Dechaunac 2003
- Signature Label 2006 Vintage
- Cabernet Franc Reserve 2005 Vintage
Rudolph says his wines are very low in sulfites because he gets a headache very easily from them. The vineyard has also been transitioned to organic in recent years. It was cool to experience a tasting so close to home, and even more fun to share the experience with some of my favorite people!
Truly a fabulous way to spend a Saturday afternoon.
The holiday weekend is upon us — and I couldn’t be more excited! Bobby and I will be in San Diego visiting my brother-in-law, Jim, sister-in-law, Cara, and our new baby girl nieces, Kelly and Caroline. Those girls have no idea how twinthusiastic I am about seeing them!
What are your plans for the Fourth of July weekend?
Whether you celebrate or not (hello, international readers!), I hope you have a great one planned.