This afternoon was so gorgeous I just couldn’t stay inside. I got in the car and started driving. Since I was already headed in the right direction for our wine country, I decided to go view some of the vineyards. There are over 36,000 acres of rolling hills and vineyards, and 35 member wineries. I love driving on Rancho California Rd. and looking at the rows and rows of grape vines.
It’s great having some of the best wine you can buy right in your own back yard. Because of our unusual micro climate (morning mist, warm midday sun, cooling ocean breezes and clear starry nights) and granite-based soil, the Temecula Valley has ideal conditions for growing grapes and creating award-winning premium wines. Our wines are recognized by wine connoisseurs internationally.
The grape growing and wine making revival in the Temecula Valley began in the late 1960s. They started planting abundant acres of wine grapes in 1968. Callaway Winery was founded in 1974 giving birth to Temecula’s wine making.
Most of the wineries are small and family owned. If you visit, you are very likely to run into the owner, or winemaker, or other winery principals in the tasting rooms. You will find the wineries of Temecula to be friendly and personable.
During a rainy patch this past winter, I pulled into the parking lot of a local shopping center. It was raining hard and as I got out of the car, I looked in front of me and against the wall of the building was a person in a sleeping bag. This is not a rare sight in Temecula. You can see the homeless under freeway bridges, walking the streets with their overloaded shopping carts, or sitting outside a grocery store hoping that someone will give them some food. I left some juice and a deli sandwich by the sleeping bag, wishing I could do more.
When I returned to my car, I sat for a bit and watched. Time and time again, people walked right by this person and never even looked down. It was as though he, or she was totally invisible. Have we become a people completely devoid of compassion for those in need?
A while ago during a rainy patch in the high desert of Southern California, I saw the strangest sight. I was driving down the street, and before me was a cloud formation. We get a lot of clouds up here in the mountains, but this was no ordinary cloud. It looked like something from a sci-fi movie. Resembling a spaceship, it did not move like normal clouds, it just sort of — hovered. As I continued to drive, it followed me. I arrived at the mall, parked and just sat in the car and watched. (Mind you, all these pictures are taken from my car. I was not about to get out.) It was getting dark, and the cloud was still there. I decided to go home, and when I got back on the main street, the cloud was suddenly ahead of me, moving in a rapid swoosh movement. In less than a minute it was gone. So what had I just seen? Was it a UFO, or was it just a strange cloud?
I may never know what it was, but it sure gave me one of those “close encounters” sort of feeling. If they were visitors, I’m kind of glad they didn’t beam me up!