Enjoying Autumn in Wine Country

Autumn is definitely in the air.  Nights are cooler, the leaves are slowly changing to gold and red, and the grapes are ripening on the vine.  We are deeper into the material in our classes, and students have started on team projects.  The campus is even more beautiful this time of year, with autumn flowers amongst the changing foilage.  Students relax on lawns, and often we have bands playing music at noon.

It is this time of year that I always remember my favorite Jack London quote — and of course, Jack London adopted Sonoma County as his home, establishing his “Beauty Ranch” on the Eastern side of Sonoma Mountain, with the House of Happy Walls.

“The air is wine.  The grapes on a score of rolling hills are red with autumn flame.  Across Sonoma Mountain, wisps of sea fog are stealing.  The afternoon sun smolders in the drowsy sky.  I have everything to make me glad I am alive…”

In Icy Argentina This Week

It seems a little strange to fly to Argentina during the second week of school, but that is when the International Wine Forum is scheduled in Mendoza.  This year they kindly invited me to be a guest speaker on the US wine market — all expenses paid.  Amazingly, I was able to fit in the 5 day trip around my class schedule, and after 20 hours of travel I’m back in winter in the Southern Hemisphere.  It is very cold and they are in the process of pruning their vines, while at home in Sonoma everyone is praying the grapes will get ripe enough to harvest soon.  Feeling a bit like Alice in Wonderland.

However, looking forward to my first glass of Malbec, and the fancy wine dinner planned for tonight.  I will be blogging this trip on www.winetravelstories.blogspot.  Check it out in the next few days for more details.