It’s over. We made it there and back with no car trouble other than a stone chip. Go Honda!

We learned some interesting things about American wines. Napa thinks they’re all that, but give me Sonoma or Mendocino. Washington rivals California, I think, and Oregon’s star is still rising. We were particularily taken with the Umpqua Valley wineries. If I win the lottery, I’ll live in Walla Walla because not only do they have some splendid wines there, they are close to many other great wine regions. I’ll just send my butler to California – he can borrow the Range Rover if he finds me some bloody Swanson!

We learned some interesting things about our ability to taste and enjoy wines. By and large, we enjoy the first winery of the day. After that, we lose enthusiasm slowly if the tasting rooms are nice, rapidly if they are crowded or pushy.
I think we are on the right track when we taste only the two to four wines that we might actually buy, based on the description and our known preferences. This does reduce our chances of stumbling upon our next favourite thing, but if we were to taste everything at the first winery, we’d only be able to sustain our interest for maybe one more that day. That means we’d lose out on sampling our best bets at two other wineries, and maybe not come across something great that is in our line. It’s a compromise, if we are on a roll, enjoying many wines at one winery, we’ll taste things that would usually not interest us. If even our preferred styles don’t taste right, we’re out of there after just a sip or two. We also learned that tasting rooms that represent more than one winery can work, but naturally you cannot taste everything they sell.

We improved our travel technique. We learned that we don’t enjoy driving more than six hours in a day. Stopping for picnic lunches at wineries is sublime. Stopping for picnic lunches at roadside rest stops is not, but it still beats eating fast food, so our picnic pack and 12volt cooler were great assets. Taking our own folding luggage carts was a stroke of, if not genius, inspired laziness.

Blogging was fun, it was like writing a postcard to a friend every day, and knowing that the postman was reading it too. As I said in the introduction, this blog is temporary, and it’s time to say goodbye. Thanks to everyone who followed, commented or emailed.


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