We recently had a cousin visiting. He arrived by way of San Diego, where he had recently gotten out of the Navy, and South Carolina, where he picked up his new puppy, Lulu. So yeah, four whole days in the car including one with a 10 week old puppy and you’re ready to get off the road for a while. What began as a brief stopover ended up becoming a wonderful five-day visit. We had a great time connecting, hanging out, and of course playing with the puppy. Spent an evening at Top Golf, checked out some local restaurants, and naturally we couldn’t let him leave until we spent the afternoon at a winery, so off to Corcoran Vineyards & Cider we went on a beautiful Saturday afternoon.
We decided on Corcoran because our esteemed guest likes hard cider, and Corcoran not only makes wine, they make some kick-ass hard cider too! We arrived around 1:30 and had planned to leave one of our group outside with the puppy while the rest of us did a tasting. The plan was to get 4 combo tastings (wine and cider, oh boy!), and have 3 of us do the entire tasting, and the other tasting be split between 2 people, one of whom drew the short straw, and the other who doesn’t like cider. Seriously who doesn’t like cider? I remember the first time we went there and she informed us that it’s not the cider, it’s that she does not like bubbles. All of our group and the person doing our tasting just looked at her and said ‘what?’ I offered to get her a toothpick to pop the bubbles, she called me a smartass and that was that. So the plan
was that bubbles would swap out for puppy duty mid-tasting. Confused yet? We were too. After trying to explain this to the fantastic server he said ‘why don’t you just bring the puppy in?’ Oh, ok that actually makes way more sense. So in the puppy came, and she promptly became the center of attention. Every singe person who came in the door stopped short, and ended up on the floor with this ridiculously cute pup.
Oh yeah, back to the tasting…usually they do cider first then wine with the combo, but of course we thoroughly confused everything and ended up starting with the wine. Thankfully Kyle, who was doing our tasting, was incredibly good natured and just rolled with it. We tried six wines in total, 3 white and 3 red. The whites were Apple Wine, Chardonnay, and Sevyal Blanc. The whites were all good, but the Apple Wine was very unique, not nearly as sweet as some other apple wines I’ve had. Quite good. The reds we tried were Chambourcin, Cab Franc, and Pinot Noir. Since I’m a red wine guy I liked them all, but my favorite was the Chambourcin. I know that’s a huge surprise to anyone who’s been reading the blog since we started. I have a thing for Chambourcin. It’s kind of an obsession. But it keeps me sane and people alive so I’m good with it.
Next up was the cider tasting. Just as we were about to start, Kyle had to go outside to do a tasting for a large group that had just arrived and Missy got stuck with us. Wait, I meant to say that Missy got lucky and finished our tasting, yeah that’s it. We tried 4 ciders: Hop n’ Pop, an off dry cider; Knot Head, a blend of seven apples aged in bourbon barrels; Popo Peach, slightly sweet with a hint of peach; and Sinful, sinfully sweet and delicious. They also have a Corcoran Hard Cider, but they were out of it. Good reason to go back.
Just as we were wrapping up our tasting, the rest of our ‘hang out on the lawn’ crowd arrived with their dog, Holly. We bought a bottle of Chambourcin and a bottle of Knot Head and offered to take Holly and Lulu and find a nice spot for sitting and watching the day go by while the rest of the gang did their tasting. It wasn’t long before Lulu started attracting attention and we made a new friend! Samantha, who was with that large group that stole Kyle from us. She played with Lulu and Holly for a bit and then sat right down in one of our camp chairs and made herself at home. The rest of our group finally joined us and walked up with that ‘who is this person in our chair?’ look on their faces. They clearly weren’t all that surprised we’d made a friend, I have a tendency to do that. We all spent a good half-hour chatting with Samantha. She was an absolute hoot. This was her first winery adventure and she was having the time of her life! I know this because she told me at least 47 million times. We also had to explain how we were all related several times for her, and in the end she decided it didn’t matter she just loved us all! She thought Lulu was the cutest thing ever and I tried my best to fix her up with one of our young single guys, but she had a boyfriend and he was right over there, so not meant to be. After a while one of her fellow drunk-bussers came over to tell her it was time to go. She didn’t want to leave and we didn’t really want her to, but I guess that’s the way it goes. We exchanged hugs and off she went. You never know when you’ll make a friend do you?
In a brief moment of clarity as we were preparing to leave the house that afternoon, I had suggested we toss all of our camp chairs in the Jeep and bring them along in case we needed to set up our own spot. That’s your pro-tip of the day, bring your own chairs! It
was getting hot in the sun so we got the chairs and set up camp in a lovely shady area under some trees and got about our plan to waste away the afternoon. As usual stories, jokes, lots of harassment, a good dose of embarassment, and a lot of laughter ensued. Four more bottles of Chambourcin and four more bottles of Knot Head were consumed. Ok, she came to visit the puppy but we reminded her that we are cute too. I’d like to note that 7 people were drinking the wine and 2 were drinking the Knot Head, you do the math. Turns out the cousin doesn’t have much experience with day drinking and got just a bit tipsy. Ok maybe more than a bit, but he was obviously having a blast and that’s what counts, right? He may not have a lot of experience with day drinking but I think he’s a natural! I guess we’re just going to have to bring him back so we can continue his training.
Time to go rolled around, aka closing time. So we gathered up all of our stuff and made our way back to the cars to head home. We had an awesome time spending the afternoon at Corcoran. Kyle and Missy took fantastic care of us, they were fun and informative and just an absolute pleasure to spend time with. While we were sitting on the lawn another fantastic Corcoran team member, Rachael, came over to visit and talk with us. Ok, maybe she came over to visit the pup but whatever, we’re cute too. These three made our afternoon great. And of course we can’t forget Samantha, who could forget her?!?!
Go visit Corcoran soon, and tell them the LoCo Wine Squad sent ya! And like our Facebook page and share us with your friends, sharing means caring!