Since we won a silver medal (2012 Reserve Syrah) at the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition in January, we thought we should travel from the west coast of Michigan to the west coast of California for the medal winning tasting on Valentine's Day in San Francisco. Amazing wines, amazing weather. Daughter Kelly went with us and we joined up with Patrick, a St. Joe ex-Pat who now works in the techie tech world of northern California. It was a few hundred wines, a few thousand of our closest friends, and a beautiful day at Fort Mason, on the bay between Fisherman's Wharf and the Golden Gate Bridge. Stayed in Healdsburg for three days, traveled the Russian River to the ocean and back, and experienced some wonderful wineries along the way, returning on the red eye to O'Hare the morning after a nasty snow storm. We've had another brutal winter here in God's country (southwest Michigan in case you're interested, God). Fortunately, we always know that we begin our journey blessed with more fruit buds and brain cells than are necessary for a happy life. If winter lasted any longer, we might run the risk of running out of both. As it is, no one is quite sure what the right amount of buds and brain cells are to begin with, or to end up with. It's all quite relative (and you know which relatives I'm talking about!). The tasting room is now open again (six days a week until about Christmas) and we are thrilled to be back at it, and seeing so many people who are just as thrilled to be back tasting wine. How groovy to have a job where you can pour yourself into your work, and at the end of the day, pour your work into yourself! Karma is a wonderful thing.