The transformation of the seasons is well underway.
|Grape Arbor’s 2014 Gingerbread Inn|
An early winter blanketed the Inn in December to greet guests, and visitors from across the sea. The Nutcracker collection adorned the sitting rooms, keeping company with sparkling Christmas trees, and visited by merrymakers for holiday parties. Art shows and gingerbread houses were created and disassembled. And the new year came with new hopes and ideas.
More parties to celebrate another transformation … and then we cleaned. We cleaned rooms and we cleaned our souls, making resolutions, making plans. The nutcrackers and Christmas trees moved back into their boxes, waiting for Thanksgiving day, when they will rise from their slumber, to begin the celebration again.
It is the beginning again. Farmer’s can be seen all through the vineyards, trimming the vines that promise this year’s juices and wines. And it is bitter work as the vines are dormant and suitable for pruning from January through March. The wind that blows off of Lake Erie can be brutal, sometimes reminding me of the biting Chicago cold. I am glad that pruning vines is not my job…I will remember to savor that glass of wine tonight, in honor of those pruner’s cold fingers, noses, and toes.
I would be neglectful if I ignored the approaching month of love. We celebrate it here in North East, PA, with things to do with your valentine, honey, sweetie, or schnookums. Wine & Chocolate Weekend (February 14-16) is an annual favorite. selling out, year after year. If you are so inclined, now is the time to make your plans.
You can also treat your sweetie to a really romantic carriage ride while you take a break from the task of wine tasting. On Saturdays and Sundays through February 23, enjoy a 45-minute carriage ride through the very picturesque and historical Victorian Chautauqua Village. For information and reservations, visit this link to the Chautauqua County Visitors Bureau.
It is time for me to say adieu, and select a local wine to toast the cold fingers, noses, and toes of our good farmers and caretakers of the vine.