Friday, October 22, 2010

A Splash of Color on an Autumn Day

It was a beautiful October day.

Two friends, and (for the next couple of hours) untroubled souls. 

We tossed the dog and my camera in the convertible, and hit the road - wherever the road should take us. 

          "I have a place in mind," said my friend.

 Apparently, he knew where the road would take us.        

          "I know of a nice little winery," he stated. 

Drag me out in the beautiful Virginia countryside
and force me to drink wine ? ? ? 

I think NOT ! ! !

BUT, I went anyways.
The air was crisp; the sun - warm, on my face. 
I closed my eyes, soaking in the last of the late Autumn rays  that would soon be overcome
by clouds of pre-winter gray.               

Turning off the highway, we followed the sign that read "Corcoran Winery",
          gravel kicking up behind us along the winding, dirt road,
          and made a left onto Corky's Farm Lane. 

Perfectly witty and appropriate, I thought.   

As the wind blew back my hair, we came upon a clearing -
          an enclave of newly built homes; a misplaced suburban community. 

We would find out later on that these were homes to the Corcoran Winery "family".  

Around the corner and up the hill, we followed along the fence line.

Grape vines danced in the fields to the left,

          and an old, rustic barn stood staunch, to the right.

We pulled the car into the perfect spot, and sauntered down the drive.

In contrast to the modern construction of the homes that first greeted us,
          the tasting room was housed in a small, unstately structure, more characteristic of
          the country setting in which it sat.

The front yard was dressed with garden tables and chairs -
a welcome introduction to the charming front porch. 

As I grabbed the handle and walked in the front door,
          I could feel the history of the 1750's restored log cabin. 

Oh, the stories this old dwelling could tell. 

Once inside, I was transformed back to an earlier time, yet, with modern day faces. 

It felt both welcoming and familiar. 

We were greeted with smiles and warmth - even the dog. 
          Though small enough to tuck under our arms, we are not always sure how he will be received.

          Here, there was no pause. 

There were two tasting rooms - one in the front, and one in the back,
          where the bathroom was located, as well. 
That was my first stop before moving onto the wine. 
On my way out, my friend introduced me to Jim Corcoran, one of the owners of a husband and wife team,
          who graciously offered a friendly handshake.   

Stephanie was our host for the next hour, walking us through each taste -
                   full of knowledge and a very down-to-earth style. 
Any pretentiousness that may have been carried through the front door,
          was immediately dissolved by the warm spirits - of both the wine and the people.

We ordered two glasses of red, cheese and crackers............and a bottle "to go",
          and found a nice table for two outside.

While I was drawn to the peaceful setting of the beautiful pond, lined with willow trees and 
          picnic benches on the backside of the house,
I chose one of the wrought iron tables out front, where I could see all of the "comings and goings". 

We engaged in pleasant conversation with a few of the other patrons as they passed by,  and watched others as they walked in and out, arriving in cars, pick-up trucks, and motorcycles.
There were friends, families, couples, and other dogs - each here to enjoy and get away from it all. 
I was just about to go inside and order another glass of wine, when Jim came out with a bottle to share.           

He pulled up a chair, and over a glass of Cabernet Franc, we enjoyed getting to know one another.  
It was just a snapshot view,
          but enough to see the real flavors, and colors, and shape. 

We talked about the winery, and we talked about life.

As he raised his hands up, arms wide, looking from one side of his property to the other, he said,

     "It's not so much about the wine, as it is about THIS.  Bringing people together. The wine is just an excuse."

I think he is onto something, there. 

As we sat talking, he welcomed three other people to our table -
          friends from the past and present.
All of us, who were of different ages and backgrounds, sat together and enjoyed a glass of wine,
          as if we had known each other for years.

Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end,
          and responsibilities at home were knocking on our door. 

It was time to leave......................................... but not without a souvenir.

It had been quite windy all afternoon. 
In fact, in between sips of wine and conversations,
          I spent a good part of the time trying to keep from blowing away. 

In the midst of a conversation with Jim, the wind literally lifted my glass off the table,

          sending it air bound,

                    landing several feet away,

          but not before leaving a splash of color all over my white t-shirt,

                              as well as my dog's white "coat".

Jim felt terrible, but we were BOTH laughing.

What else was there to do? 

It was quite impressive, actually. 

And besides, it was JUST a shirt. 

How is that in comparison to the glorious afternoon we had all just shared?

It was worth it. 

Did the stain come out?  Not totally.

But I know that when I go back to visit my new friends at Corcoran Winery,
          if they do not remember me by name or by face,
and if they do not remember the wonderful conversations that we had,
          they will at least remember me by my purple colored ......................left breast.  

Maybe I will just show up wearing the same t-shirt.




1 comment:

  1. Gerry and I played the "wine circuit" this summer -- Boordy, Black Ankle, and Serpent Ridge. I love the outdoor wine gigs -- everyone is relaxed and the "after-party" with the owners makes me feel like I'm part of a family. I can see why Gerry works for them part-time.