By the end of summer, my passport will finally have a couple extra stamps on it. Plane and hotel all booked up, what is left is just time to save up for extra play money, read some Rick Steves, and daydream of wine and tapas. Barcelona and Rome, here I come! Booking the trip felt a bit anti-climatic, I’ll admit, because I won’t be leaving for some time and I need a real big vacation right NOW. Luckily, I had the Lake Arrowhead getaway followed by this little Sunday adventure that really got me excited about lazy afternoons at a café.
My parents invited the boyfriend and myself to Sunshine Mountain Vineyard & Winery’s bottling party in San Marcos. After reaching the top of the
steep lovely staircase, we were greeted by little running munchkins with feathery blonde hair. One almost ate my knee. I soon was tasting the line up of offerings and amusing myself by watching the beautiful and fat koi swim through their pond.
It wasn’t before long that we all decided that we needed to find more wine elsewhere and took a windy trip (and a nap) down to Ramona to Salerno Winery. This sweet winery is run by a true Italian, his wonderful wife, and what appears to be a whole gang of friends from the old country. We’re greeted with smiles, the sounds of the piano dancing with the fountain and my father gets a quick, “Where have you been?” My dad is such the people person.
We get primo seating right in front of the fantastic musical stylings. Pinot, their black lab, graciously treats the guests to a quick spritzer after a dip in the fountain. Eat first; that’s the rule.
Every Sunday, the outdoor brick oven is fired up and serves Salerno guests with pepperoni and vegetable pizzas. At ten bucks each, the deal definitely makes you stay a while and of course drink. Our pizza came out just in time as we sip our way through our first bottle of wine. My eyes scanned the patio for unhappy face but they didn’t find one. Families, couples, birthday parties, etc. filled the patio. Some brought their own bites and nibbles to pair with fresh-baked bread from the oven. Some brought more than enough to share with everyone. Every Sunday, strangers become family over glasses of wine.
Magic continued to happen as the piano man teamed up with a violinist and soon enough a soprano opera singer.
Our second pizza came out with bell peppers and Italian sausage, however I was enjoying myself too much to remember to snap a photograph before devouring. I had eaten enough bread to feed a small country but it was a wonderful afternoon and that only meant I needed to walk around the vineyard a bit. It was hard to leave knowing laundry was beckoning amongst other things but it was a perfect way to forget it all even for a moment.