We live about two hours from our favorite wine country, Sonoma, but dotted in the hills above San Jose and conveniently, much closer, are some beautiful wineries and tasting rooms that make for a relaxing day of wine and roses. No matter where you live in the San Francisco Bay area, unique experiences can be found, as long as you have a little imagination and the willingness to venture out. In that spirit, we decided to pick up girlfriend and head on up into the Los Gatos hills one Sunday to picnic at Byington Winery.
How often do you just pick up and go out for a relaxing, no-agenda afternoon? We do it too infrequently. The last time we’d visited this winery was when our nephews were here more than a year ago. We were overdue for a return.
Our route was twisty and turny and took us longer than the few miles the map would have us anticipate. But we’d reserved a table on the veranda, had a bag full of cheese, bread and fruit, and were prepared for a restful day among the vines.
After some initial confusion on the part of staff, the tasting room manager stepped in and was able to find our reservation and our table, marked with this cute little sign. Online reviews said the tasting room staff wasn’t particularly friendly and that was our experience, too, until the very charming manager arrived. I’m not sure why they can’t run a tighter ship when the reviews are so clear. But our slight blip didn’t affect our ability to have a wonderful couple of hours.
The venue was lovely and our table was on the veranda in the shade, a private little corner of our own. We laid out our stash of cheeses, bread, Rainier cherries, apple slices and some delicious pumpkin bread M. had baked and ate our fill accompanied by a lovely Byington Pinot Noir. Not too much wine for me, since I would be driving our hairpin road return trip.
Since roses have become my favorite flower, I enjoyed seeing the exquisite red ones just beyond our table. The gnarled vine and flowers made an enchanting sight.
A little combo played on our veranda, a pleasing addition to our feast.
This little sight captivated me, looking so wild and untended, even though I knew better.
No winery would be complete without an expanse of vines, barely visible through the flora on the hill. It was a pleasant way to while away a few hours and we’ll be doing another day of wine and roses soon. Join us!