Inglenook Winery

Earlier this month Husband and I spent a magical week in sunny California. We started the week in Big Sur, and ended the week with a spectacular evening at Francis Ford Coppala's INGLENOOK WINERY 

(click here for more information about its history, collections and tours.) 

I must say, there is nothing quite like wandering around an iconic glass in hand...sipping and looking and soaking it all in...

surrounded by beauty...a few ghosts...

and dining to golden candlelight.

The menu was divine:  steak, salad, chocolate,

and...more wine, much more...accompanied by opera, of course.

But the food paled in comparison to the setting and the atmosphere of the place.

I was particularly captivated by a mammoth 'floral' arrangement on a large table in the wine store.

It was truly resplendent.  

Composed largely of oak leaves, nandina branches,

arching stems of bittersweet,

persimmon-laden limbs...

perhaps some fiery leaved crepe myrtle.

Airy, dramatic, flaxen, and ever so autumnal.

Nature glowing...

and showing off.

It is the inspiration for my Thanksgiving table.  The colors, the organic quality, abundance all around of us.

Much, MUCH, to appreciate and be thankful for.

Soft, intimate candlelight. Gentle, warm buzz from the wine.  The backdrop of happy conversation. The scents of wine and nature and flame. Immersed in so much beauty it almost hurt.  

Honey and saffron and butterscotch and chestnut.  Umber and amber.  

Saturated in autumn.

The evening also inspired my segment on Newschannel 4 with LC yesterday.  If you missed it, watch it here.  You can also get an update on our Christmas amaryllis challenge. (More on this in incoming posts.)

(To visit the winery call 707.968.1100;  1991 St. Helena Hwy,  Rutherford, CA 94573)
 If you are planning a tour,  ask for Bob Cuozzo.  He conducted our tour and was
far more informative than tour guides at other wineries in the area.  Thanks,  Bob!)

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