Since the weather has warmed up a bit, I have been riding my bike to work a few days a week. It’s great exercise and beautiful scenery. There are many great bike routes in the area and I’m lucky that my commute is one of them. I live in Arroyo Grande, and it’s about 8 miles out to the winery and takes me about 45 minutes. It’s nice to be outside, hear the birds chirping, and ride down the road through the farm fields. On the way home, it’s a great way to decompress, clear my head, and get some sunshine.
We try to be very wellness-minded and environmentally friendly here at the winery, and I am always looking for new ideas to share with our staff. So far though, I’m the only one who is riding my bike to work, although the staff does like to cheer me on. However, we are a pretty active group and many of our team members enjoy mountain biking, yoga, hiking, and surfing during their down time. There are many excellent choices here on the Central Coast!
For those of you who ride your bike, Lopez and Orcutt roads are popular for cyclists and are very scenic as you ride past vineyards and farms. Fortunately, both roads lead to Talley Vineyards! So, no matter which way you go, it’s a beautiful ride. And that glass of cool chardonnay is very refreshing when you get here; you earned it! Be sure to take a couple bottles with you to enjoy later—they will fit perfectly in your panniers :-)
Holiday festivities have been in full swing at Talley Vineyards including our Talley Vineyardcrew holiday dinner at Ember Restaurant in Arroyo Grande. If you haven’t visited yet, it should definitely be on your list. Your taste buds will thank you! Chef/Owner Brian Collins cooks amazing artisanal meals, focusing on locally sourced ingredients and served in a cozy setting.
We started with delicious appetizers, including dungeness crab with cilantro & lime, prosciutto wrapped artichokes, and polenta. We then moved on to several amazing entrees such as grilled swordfish, seared scallops, and red wine braised short ribs. Everything basically melts in your mouth and is a fantastic combination of flavors; everything perfectly cooked. Some of the ingredients I have never even heard of, but they combine to form a fantastic food experience. Desserts were mouth-watering bites of oven toasted marshmallow ice cream cake and apple tart tatin.
Oh, and of course, the wine. To start the night, we toasted each other with our Talley Vineyards sparkling wine, which is always a treat. We only produce a very small amount of this, so it’s only brought out for special occasions such as our holiday party. And of course it’s always fun to try some of our library wines: we had a wonderful 2011 Rosemary’s Pinot Noir magnum (my favorite of the night), and a 2010 Oliver’s Chardonnay magnum that was also quite tasty. We even opened a 1991 Talley Vineyards estate pinot noir while some of our staff shared stories about what was going on in their lives during that particular year.
It was a great night to spend with our entire staff, their guests, and the Talley family. It’s fun to see everyone dressed up outside of a work setting and hear the laughter as stories are shared. We get to know each other a little bit more and strengthen our relationships.
Great camaraderie, fantastic food, excellent wine. Doesn’t get much better than that! It was a perfect conclusion to our 30th anniversary year and we are looking forward to what 2017 will bring. Happy holidays to you and yours, from the Talley Vineyards team.