Here’s what I wrote at the beginning, albeit a very late beginning, of day two.
It’s Saturday noon and we’re sitting at a picnic bench in Old Mill Park near a boat launch on Lake Chelan on the outskirts of downtown Wapato. We’re reading the newspaper and breakfasting on yogurt and bananas brought from home, and ginger bread men purchased yesterday in Leavenworth. We haven’t yet removed our polar fleece jackets, but are hopeful because the sun is bright overhead. The only sounds we’ve heard are a motor boat idling away from the boat launch, a nasty father standing outside his truck telling his son, in a voice loud enough to be heard across the parking lot, that he had his head up his ***, and a perfectly shaped wedge of Canada geese honking directly overhead as they journey farther up the lake.
Following breakfast, we started our tour of the area at Tildio Winery. One of the members of a band that played for my birthday party four years ago, Grupo Amoroso, is related to an owner of this winery, who talks the band into coming here every summer to perform. We came to satisfy our curiosity and, as it turned out, to buy three bottles of wine. Like all the wineries, this one was an oasis of green amidst dry, brush-covered hills, and like many it overlooked one lake or another (Chelan, Rose or Wapato). We loved looking down on the lakes, because they incorporated the countryside — pastures, orchards, and vineyards — in their reflections. Our next stop was Benson Vineyards, where we wandered around the spacious outdoor seating area enjoying the panoramic view. We stopped for a rest at Vin du Lac winery, sampled wines in a tasting area sheltered by a grape arbor, and relaxed on its sunny patio. Of all the wines we tasted — and there were many — we found our favorites at Nefarious Cellars, where we were greeted by an overly friendly dog, apparently belonging to one of the owners, who wanted to get in the car with us and join us for a snack of dark chocolate.
On our drive over here the day before, we kept crossing paths with four couples in four Panteras, sports cars that were produced for Ford and Mercury dealers in Italy by De Tomaso Automobili SpA between 1971 and 1973. The same thing happened today as our winery visits coincided. Their appearance and special parking spots away from all the other cars served as a conversation starter among the rest of the tourists.
We ended our tour at five pm, five wineries and 10 new bottles of wine later. Actually it was six wineries later, but one of them served only as a lunch stop at two p.m. By that time, of the major food groups we had consumed fruit — grapes and grape products, specifically — milk protein, spices (ginger), and carbs (sugar, white flour and chocolate), and felt like we were ready for a little more protein. We followed lunch with two more winery stops and decided we had enough of healthy eating and a vigorous exercise regimen of getting in and out of the car, so we returned to the hotel to rest.
The photos are wonderful! Will you be reporting on which of those 10 bottles you like best?