Every day should begin with one of Edward's marvelous breakfasts! These guys take the concept of bed & *breakfast* to a whole new level. They work with fresh, locally-grown ingredients, and take pride in crafting an extraordinary array of treats for their guests. Yum! After brekkie we set out for some wine tasting. First, to the Carlton Winemakers Studio where Heidi works as the tasting room manager. It's a really groovy place, a co-op of about 10 different winemakers under one roof. And the tasting room is totally swank. It's a LEED-compliant model of sustainable architecture and has been cited in Food & Wine and other magazines. And the wines are pretty tasty, too. ;)
Next we stopped at Lenné, a fairly new winery, where we got to see Edward in full-on marketing mode. He may have been transported to a small town, but he's still a savvy networker and a relentless marketer, always bringing Carlton Inn brochures to distribute to local businesses. And by the end of the tasting, he'd discussed the possibility of the Lenné winemaker visiting (or even hosting) the next meeting of the local B&B marketing council, which Edward is an active member of. Mark and I got a free tasting out of it, so we weren't complaining.
Was I saying something about detoxing earlier this week? Detox, schmetox.
Edward saved the best for last, as our final stop was WillaKenzie Estate, where Edward worked his connections to get us a backstage tour of the winery. Plus we got to meet Thibaud, the winemaker. This is a huge deal in the middle of harvest season when things are really movin' and shakin'. It's a bit like getting to meet the Pope on Easter. Like most other Willamette valley wineries, WillaKenzie produces some deeeeeelicious Pinots -- Noir, Gris, and Blanc -- but they add a bit of French flair combined with some cool cutting-edge technology. I could tell you more, but I might have to kill you. Suffice it to say we got a glimpse most people don't get to see!
We spent some time picking raspberries that afternoon, and ended the day with a leisurely dinner at home with Heidi, where we got to catch up with her and hear her take on their new life. It's always good to hear success stories from people who have done what we're trying to do: uproot from a seemingly have-it-all lifestyle and slow the pace down a bit to try something different. We talked about how taking almost a year off to travel helped ease E&H's transition to life in small-town Carlton, rather than going right from the hustle and bustle of life inside the Beltway. It's definitely a different scene out here! But they seem really happy and we're inspired by their successful adjustment to their new adventures.
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