But we shall concentrate on the one, most lovely, and most gracious, and most wonderful winery called Balistreri Vineyards.
This was our third visit there and each time we have been most impressed by the relaxed, and familial welcome we've received. Mr. John Balistreri, the vintner, runs the winery with his wife, Birdie, and daughter, Julie. We have also been there when one of their sons and Julie's three kids are working there. (The kids were making homemade pizzas, tossing the dough into the air and cooking them in an outdoor oven...that was the last time we went there for the free pizza and free wine tastings...with all of our kids...'cause Julie said, "Sure! Bring all your kids for free pizza!" So we did).
Anyway...as I was saying, the first time we met them was at the Festival Italiano at Belmar in Lakewood. That was the only time we actually paid for wine tastings. It was $5 for, I think, 6 small glasses. And our kids got to stomp grapes for their Little Feet Merlot, which is the real reason we went. It sounded really, really, cool.
As you can see, they had real vats of grapes and the kids really got in there and stomped!
But, after a few minutes, it started getting pretty crowded as more siblings decided they wanted to give it a try after all.
And then some other kids showed up and it got REALLY crowded!
But, getting back to my lovely Sunday at the winery...we sampled, oh, probably 10 or 12 really good wines. And we had a lovely chat with John and Julie and a little bit with Birdie. We bought a case of wine, and joined the wine club...Oh, and we picked up our three pre-ordered bottles of Little Feet Merlot 2007, that our kids helped stomp. It's not as good as the 2006, but Birdie promised me that if I kept it for another year, it, too, would improve. (Husband says, "No way are we keeping bottles aroung that long!")
We all came home with smiles on our faces and thoughts of cheery reds to warm us this winter!
Whereever the Christian son doth shine,
There's always laughter
And good, red wine.
At least I've always heard it so,