In Cottages in Yorkville

Monday, September 1, 2008

By the time we had arrived in Napa we were already weary, the morning sun had burned itself into our eyes. The tea we had so dutifully decided to drink in lieu of coffee no longer seemed like the wise caffeine epigone we hoped it to be. Elise and I were travelling to Napa to our friend Ashely's home.

Ashley, our bubbly P.R. pro hostess and organizer-slash-group leader was busy showing off her CIA skills for a fancy breakfast as we arrived at her charming duplex.

Our party consisted of Liz, a girl whose stunning beauty that would blind men and women alike and whose clever and slightly juvenile wit would then beguile them. I was then greeted with a drink by Patty, an hourglass slender woman whose quick jocosity belied her sagely nature. Finally I was introduced to Powell, a dapper gentleman whose wine professional eye gave him a unique conception of the world and would educate me throughout the weekend on the finer points of wine tasting.

As we sipped our cocktails (with perfectly chiffonaded mint, natch), Ashely threw together a delicious frittata alongside a delicious potato hash dish with tarragon, bacon, and capers that she just happen to throw together on a whim. We then sat down outside for the plan of the day.

We would drive to Yorkville, a 90 minute venture minus traffic, and arrive at the Ravenridge cottage. We would then turn back and go to the Yorkville Highlands event.

Normally I would have been ill what with the car weaving and winding up the curvy mountain road to the cottage. However, the raw fear of falling over the edge to my death in a four-wheeled, steel trap cage kept my mind off of it.

"We'll be fine, stop worrying," assured Ashley.

"I know. No worries." I hurriedly made a cross over my chest. God and I had been a bit out of touch but now seemed better than ever to quickly get reacquainted. Plus, a little divine protection never hurt anyone.

As we finally pulled to the top of the mountain we looked around at the view, as if the entire valley have been unfolded and laid out for us as a natural diorama for our own eyes. I mean, there was even a family of deer grazing just down the hill.As we gathered our things and went into the cabin we were blown away. A perfect little Parisian cottage out of the French countryside had landed like Dorothy's farmhouse to the top of this mountain in California. You could see the thought and detail carefully planned out, from the dried lavender on the wall, to the colors of the walls, to the kindly laid out tea service in the kitchen.

As we laid our things out all sat down outside to a glass of wine that had been set out for us. As we took in the scenery we toasted our glasses together, the sounds of the clinking glass announcing the start to the day's events.

As we pulled into the parking for the event, I tottered out of the car once again nauseous from Elise and Ashley's insistence of driving windy roads at bomber jet speeds to the music of John Mayer. As I submitted myself to a cap and sunscreen (hate the look, hate the feel) we walked up to the front desk and registered, meeting the proprietors of the event, the Meyer family of the Meyer Family Cellars (who make an out of the world Port).

We met with Matt and Bonny Meyer our hosts for the days festivities, we kindly thanked them for their kindness in inviting us to the event. The Yorkville Highlands Festival is held on the last Saturday of August every year, in which the Yorkville Highlands Grapegrowers and Vitiners Association hosts and puts together. Lots of local wineries come out for tastings, a delicious spread with locally grown food is prepared , and games such as barrel rolling and grape stomping invite people to let their hair down and go a bit crazy.We all began to meander, watching a whole boar roast on a spit, tasting a fine variety of wines, and eating some delicious tasty vittles. As we laid back and enjoyed the sun to the sounds of a wine country band, we all let out our collective sighs, releasing with them the tensions that had been dragging us down with our real life responsibilities. But at the moment the real life was gone, a forgotten memory. There was only now.

-Part 2... coming sooner or later. Special thanks to Elise Bauer who took way better pictures than I did.-


  1. Wadaya mean you were queezy? I thought you were asleep in the back seat.

    And those windy roads with a 55 mph posted speed limit? Really should be 45 mph.


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