A day of wine and roses

June 13, 2015

Byington horiz skyWe 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.

Byington broad patioThe 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.

Byington tree patio 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.

Byington musicA little combo played on our veranda, a pleasing addition to our feast.

Byington pillar w flowers

This little sight captivated me, looking so wild and untended, even though I knew better.

Byington vinesNo 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!

20 comments on “A day of wine and roses
  1. I would love to take a day trip to enjoy the sights, sounds, and sips of a winery. The view are indeed beautiful and do look natural and untended. Although, I bet you’re right and they are truly very strategic! lol

  2. What a fun weekend. I used to live in Los Gatos, at the end of Big Basin Way. I’d pull out my driveway and instantly be in the woods, on that twisty, winding road, so I know what it’s like to drive it. At the time, I was in my 20s and raced Porsches. I loved the feel of that car, especially on that road. Someone was definitely watching out for me! Brenda

  3. This looks absolutely beautiful! And it reminds me that sometimes I need to take a break for myself. I definitely don’t do it enough!

  4. Wow! Beautiful country…I’m going to have to keep this in mind the next time I head up to the Bay area.

  5. What a vista! You do know that you live in Eden, right?!

  6. Elena Peters says:

    Looks like a wonderful outing. I have done a lot of wine tasting in the Finger Lakes region of New York. I love it. I need to do some when I go to California next time. Thank you for linking to #MidLifeLuv.

  7. I have been embracing wines a lot more lately. I would also like to visit a winery.

  8. This reminded me of the movie ‘A Walk In The Clouds’…such a beautiful part of your country!

  9. Kimberly says:

    The day sounds wonderful and I’m sure you enjoyed the cherries, they are so good this year. I’m on my second batch! The season is so short, I want to make sure to enjoy them while they’re here. Thanks for joining us at #MidLifeLuv, we’re very glad to feature you and your blog!

  10. Estelle says:

    I have many fond memories of going to wineries in the Sonoma area years ago. It is truly beautiful there. I salivated at your menu for the picnic by the way (Reiner cherries and pumpkin bread, yum).

  11. Alicia says:

    What a fun day trip! I love all your photographs.

  12. Mary says:

    Very nice…wine and roses — where ever they are make for a perfect day! Thanks.

  13. I need more “no agenda” days. This looks like a fabulous outing!

  14. It looks like a beautiful way to spend a day! I hope you are talking about “girlfriend” who has been slaying dragons and I really hope that means that she is on the mend and feeling better! Then its an even better way to spend the day!

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