Sunday, November 25, 2007

Wine Country Populaire

The Populaire began painfully enough. The only cure for my Raynaud's when it's that cold is to work hard enough to warm up from the inside, as below 35 degrees or so, no thickness or style of glove keeps my fingers from burning at the start of a ride. My legs did not feel my fingers were compromised enough to justify working past a middling amount, so it took about an hour before my hands felt comfortable. After that, between my core and the ambient temperature improving, so did my disposition.
This was one of the two major wine tasting weekends in Yamhill county. We as cyclotouristes duly participated. Entering Carlton I was with the Seattle contingent, who stopped first at Cana's- an impressive enough spot;

but not what Maggie and Eric had in mind. Their idea was a much less conspicuous establishment just outside of town with a small tasting fee, great wine and appetizers. (link to photos from the ride)
Wine Country Populaire

How did they know about this place? Last year, Maggie had been adamant that the only way she was going to stop for wine tasting was if they were offering roadside service. Shortly after saying that, sure enough, Carlo&Julian had greeters at curbside. That was the first wine tasting event for one of their friends and Maggie claims that visit turned him into a wine geek.
This pleasant environment became less so in the afternoon when the motortourists invaded Yamhill County- wanting to take in the bucolic countryside in large numbers, in large vehicles and at 60 mph. Giving credit where it's due, they passed giving a wide berth and slowed down if there was oncoming traffic. I'm thankful that this level of traffic occurs only several times a year in Yamhill, Polk and Marion counties but fearful that in time we'll be no different than Napa and Sonoma.
On returning to Forest Grove, I received some static about my late arrival and enjoyed dinner with the SIR and OR group.
The next day, sure enough, it was blue skies and (slightly) warmer temperatures. Geri and I went back to Carlton on Sunday and stopped by C&J to pick up a half case of wine and then Cana's for wine tasting. We then went to McMinnville to pick op our Christmas tree. Part of me was wondering why it wasn't like this on Saturday, but mostly I was grateful for a dry, safe and fun Thanksgiving weekend.

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