Frequently in data center discussions good wine helps gather a group of people. After Uptime Institute in Santa Clara, a group of us from Seattle got together for a 40th Birthday party at the Birthday girl's parent's house in Healdsburg.
Many of the people flew from Seattle to Sonoma/Santa Rosa airport and our first stop was Wattle Creek winery for a dinner party with one of the owners Kristine Williams as the host.
Christopher and Kristine Williams were living in Arizona when they found the Sonoma County property would change their lives. A rare opportunity to purchase an Alexander Valley vineyard and winery presented itself and the Williams flew to California in 1994 to view the property.
They were captivated with the beauty of the area and the special nature of the hillside property which is bordered by the famed Russian River. Within a day they made the decision to purchase the magical 51 acres that is Wattle Creek Winery. Family and dogs in tow, they relocated permanently to California in 2001 and dedicated themselves to making wine that they would enjoy and share with friends.
Before the Birthday party we wandered around downtown Healdsburg, CA, and visiting some wineries in Dry Creek area, but we were saving our taste buds for the evening.
I visit Healdsburg 2-3 times a year to work on a well water system and look at the IT system for the host of the party. One of the things I learned is the wine flows more freely and the conversations are much more interesting when I bring up water issues when visiting wine tasting rooms. Water is critical for winery operations, and any winery operator knows a lot about the local water issues. If I instead talking about technology - Windows, Mac, or web, the conversations rarely are lengthy or increase the consumption of wine.
At the Birthday party, there were 4 winery tasting tables with most staffed with the owners of the wineries. It was interesting talking to some of the people who visited Healdsburg for the first time and were a bit overwhelmed with the amount of wine. I on the other hand sampled every winery, met each of the people pouring, and many times moved to the other side of serving table to have better conversations.
Many wine snobs talk about the wines they own, I much prefer meeting the people who have a passion to make great wine. All of these wineries have owners who I thoroughly enjoyed meeting, and I'll remember the people much longer than the wine I tasted this past weekend. Don't get me wrong the wine was awesome. Meeting the people who made the wine made it more special
Happy 40th Birthday Megan!
Thanks Bob and Marcia for hosting an amazing two days of wine tasting.
Barbara thanks for sharing your home and letting us stay with you for two great days.