Billy and I made the drive out to Jackson on Labor Day, to one of our favorite spots to relax and while away an afternoon, the Sandhill Crane Winery. It was one of those perfect almost fall days, sunny, blue skies, white fluffy clouds, and a cool breeze. The wide low slung porch, with an assortment of tables and chairs, has a view overlooking the ten acres of vineyards and orchards, and you can stare out at the horizon for hours.
Billy and I picked our spot, and our friendly hostess Annie came over to get us started on our tasting. One of the cool things about Sandhill Crane is that they make their entire menu available for tastings. You can skip around, picking and choosing from the choices, or you can go straight down the line and try the 30 some wines they have currently in their brand. Billy and I started out strong, tasting the the first thirteen in a row, but after those, we chose to skip around and choose the ones that appealed to us the most. I narrowed my selections to about 7, while Billy decided on 6. Of all the wines I tasted, my favorites were the 2012 Riesling, which had notes of sweet grass, guava, and pineapple, a wine called Solstice, which they describe as summer in a glass, and I have to agree, with its light refreshing qualities, and its flavors of the orchard fruits they grow on the property, including pear, nectarine, and peach. My final favorite was Blue Skies, a blueberry mead with local blueberries and honey. It is seriously like blueberry in alcoholic liquid form. Billy's favorites included the Blue Skies and Solstice as well, but he also tried a raspberry desert mead called Veranda that was served with dark chocolate, which was amazing!!
They were also giving away free pears! You were invited to take as many as you wanted! Billy and I filled a small bag; they were delicious!
Billy and I sat on the porch, with the cool breeze, the tinkling of wind chimes, hummingbirds, until I was so relaxed I could have laid down and taken a nap. We forced ourselves to get up and walk around the grounds. But after we started our trek about the acreage, we knew it was worth leaving our seats on the porch.
Finally, it was time to head home and leave this oasis of calm and beauty. We bought a bottle of wine, and hit the road, feeling rejuvenated and ready for our week.
If you get the chance, check Sandhill Crane Vineyards out. You will be glad you did.