California In A Day
WOW…what a total and complete whirlwind this has been! I am blogging now from LAX, where I have about three more hours until my “red eye special” leaves. I get into Tampa at 5:15 tomorrow morning, which will of course feel like 2:15 California time. Tomorrow I shall be one very tired blogger, that’s for sure! I took about 80 pictures today but, honestly, photographs can’t even document the beauty of where I was. It was an absolutely phenomenal day and I definitely felt a great sense of connectedness to both Denise, the talented winemaker, and the vineyard itself. But without anything further—here is my photo journey down the California coast!
I woke up this morning in Santa Rosa (up in Northern California) and boarded a private jet down to Santa Maria (Southern California). The trip took about an hour and 15 minutes and was just breathtaking. We flew down the coastline and the scenes of the mountains and the ocean almost brought tears to my eyes. SO gorgeous…I can see why people come to California and then never ever leave! I quickly ate 2 Kashi GoLean packets with pb, cacao nibs and goji berries before we left on our adventure—
Once we landed, we were whisked away to Starbucks first and then to the Cambria Estate! I grabbed a soy chai and a banana for a quick snack….
The Estate was a.m.a.z.i.n.g!!! Very country-ish, but at the same time trendy and chic. I fell in love!
It was there that I met Denise, the very talented winemaker of Cambria
We instantly hit it off because we both are runners and Denise actually has a background in nutrition as well and loves to cook!
I love that this vineyard is run by a strong woman
–girl power! We headed up the vineyard in trucks to get a better view of the grapes and learn more about what is the essence of Cambria wines
. I loved hearing how the climate had such a major role! This vineyard actually has the coolest conditions of any vineyard in California, due to the Pacific being RIGHT there. This makes the conditions perfectly ideal for phenomenal Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, which are the two shining stars of the Cambria label.
When we got down from the mountaintop, there was a gorgeous lunch waiting for us outside! Adam
and I kept pitching ourselves to see if it was all really real!
I grabbed two sandwiches but only ended up eating the eggplant one. I also grabbed a TON of fruit salad and a lemon bar for dessert!
And, obviously, there was vino. We tried both the Chardonnay and Pinot Noir—
And then headed into the Tasting Room to taste the ENTIRE collection!!!!!!
Gah! Of course I took tiny sips and spit….a little
Honestly, I loved them all for so many different reasons
….and I totally tasted about 20 of them. Hahaha! As most of you know, I’m a HUGE Pinot Noir fan so I’m a little biased. Having actually met
Julia yesterday (the real Julia behind “Julia’s Pinot Noir”) it made me instantly love the wine. I also loved the Chardonnays because, more than anything, they exceeded my expectation with tons of flavors of bright peaches and fruit
rather than intense oak that I used to think all California Chards had. Oh yes, and my friend Viognier…………what more can I say?! I brought back a bottle of Pinot Noir Clone 115
(the most popular of the Pinot Noirs) for a special treat back in Tampa. Hopefully we will have something to celebrate soon!
After tasting, we had a great tour of the actual winery itself and were incredibly lucky to actually walk in on the bottling process! Even Caroline Shaw, the VP for PR for the entire Jackson Family Wines, had never seen this process before. It was such an unexpected and marvelous treat!
After a quick group shot, we were off without a second to spare since Adam’s
flight was leaving in two hours from LA!
Starstruck (and a little tipsy), Adam and I climbed into the private jet once again and flew to Santa Monica,
where a limo was waiting on us to drive us to LAX to catch our flights home! We totally brought wine for the air
(hahaha) and I had a glass of viognier in true first-class style
was less than fortunate in the Pinot Noir arena…….LOL
Classy McClass, he is
Let the girl have her moment of stardom, will ya?!
Couldn’t believe we were racing through the streets of Santa Monica……….I seriously feel like I’ve covered an entire continent in one day. And I think I almost have actually!!
And now here I am…….with three hours to spare in the lovely halls of LAX. I just ate a CPK bbq chicken salad and I’m catching up on emails as we speak
WOW. What a journey!!!!!
And I get to take the “red eye special” home! I honestly feel so incredibly blessed to even have gotten chosen to COME on this trip but today just totally blew me away. I know you all are about to ask if I got a job and to answer your question, details have not been worked out as of right now.
When I know something relevant I shall share it with you, but all I know right now is we are all going home to decompress a little bit and chat over the next few days. Its definitely a very interesting opportunity and I think that Jackson Family Wines as a whole need a voice behind them, which I think that I can be. But who knows? Only time will tell! As of right now I am dressed in my pajamas roaming around Los Angeles.
Never thought I’d be here right now in a million years so who’s to say what tomorrow will bring?
See you in the morning from sunny Tampa, Florida!! Ryan is being a gentleman and is picking me up from the airport at 5:30 am. I can’t complain!
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