Port and friendship in Castro Valley...
A dear friend of mine is the inspiration for many of my wine-love excursions. My male muse had to depart California recently. On his last day in the Bay Area, we explored wineries closer to home.
Westover Vineyards made a strong impression on me. Located in Castro Valley, the southeast-bound drive on Palomares Road set the tone shift from the urban to bucolic.
There is a picnic area and on this toasty Sunday, we heard laughter drifting indoors as we walked into the inviting tasting room. We began our tasting and the conversation flowed easily with the staff member Ken, whom we have to thank for his generous pours.
The guests in the tasting room were varied. Some were obviously returning customers and some were visitors new to the area. As more wine lovers filled the space, the atmosphere became livelier.
This was the first time I surprisingly appreciated port. Something clicked and instead of overpowering syrupy sweetness, I tasted various flavors and enjoyed the brandy.
It could have been the particular varieties of port I sampled that day...
However, I'm convinced it was a particular alchemy of the ambience and great company. The casual atmosphere was perfect as we shared our stories and Ken chatted about topics ranging from history of the vineyards and the winemaker, to the origins of the Tinta Madeira grapes in addition to offering other educational tidbits.
This day was a reminder to enjoy the moments we share with others that are forever positively imprinted in our memories. And of course, the wine and port tasting definitely enhanced the experience as well. Cheers, ya'll!