by cheri sabraw
We are olive farmers. The harvest and press are six weeks away. Our olives are plump, sucking water like long-distance runners, so close to the finish line.
The smell of olives reduced to particulates, oil, and yes, probably a few fruit fly larvae, is a sweet, earthy and sensual.
This past weekend, our friends K. and H. invited us to stay overnight in a little house nestled in the middle of a fertile vineyard bulging with Cabernet grapes, just days away from harvest.
Most of us Californians take for granted the close proximity of luscious vineyards until this time of year when fall arrives like a proud papa to rustle leaves, heat up the air, and await the results of his rendezvous with spring.
Then, we Bacchanalian revelers only hours from Napa Sonoma, Paso Robles, Carneros, and yes, the glorious Alexander Valley, become children again, fawning over leaves, grapes, branches, vistas, and yes, wine. Oh, let’s add bocce ball to this picture.
With our friends, we sampled Primitivo, Cabernet, Pinot Noir and Rose wines. To make matters juicier, we tasted Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. Luckily, a wise woman asked for crackers.
The Alexander Valley lies north of Santa Rosa. Her nose points to Cloverdale; her hips broaden at Geyserville and her toes wiggle at Healdsburg. She is a beauty, especially when seen from Rodney Strong’s Rockaway vineyard above the valley.
Thank you to our friends and their friends for a dizzying weekend sipping the Fruit of the Vine!