Headin’ down to Central Cali, Cali

The last time I was anywhere near Solvang, Buellton, Santa Ynez Valley, was in 1993 when I moved from 100-degree-sweat-dripping-down-my-back Los Angeles to 63-degree-fog-covered-down-comforter-must San Francisco. We followed the countless signs to Peasoup Andersons — it’s actually obligatory to stop in as one must display proof of visit before proceeding along Highway 101 — ate then breathed a sign of relief to actually be on our way North while cats chilled in the back of the not-Ford-350 truck.

This late night drive dredged up memories of lying in the back seat of the family car while driving cross country along Route 66 between whatever Air Force base my father was stationed at to my grandparents’ home, starring at the clouds circling the moon, re-imagining them as angels or spirits long passed, feeling alone in the vast landscape that lined the forever road.

The view from Le Cuvier in Paso Robles

The view from Le Cuvier in Paso Robles

Angst of a new world awaiting me in San Francisco filled my thoughts that night. Excitement fills my thoughts today as I head down Hwy 101. In 1993 the Central Valley (to me) was just a place one had to drive through to get to Los Angeles or San Francisco. Since then it has become a land appreciated for its raw rugged beauty that allows nature to reign supreme, especially the Grape Gods.

Oh the Grape Gods of this gorgeous region, how they thrive and flourish and tempt us mere mortals with its intoxicating nectar. I would willingly wash the feet of these Gods as thanks for their perseverance to help us see, penance for not heretofore knowing of their brilliance and impact.

I am on my way to the 2014 Wine Bloggers Conference to study their land, breathe their air, learn their words, taste their bounty and visit their thrones. Upon my return to reality, I will share their wisdom with you. In the meantime, let me know if you have any questions you’d like me to ask of them.

Their humble servant,
Chasing Jen