Day Two – Winery Bike Tours

Maybe it’s all the wine tastings from today, but this post is written in the style of Hemingway.

We rise early to the early morning. We eat a hearty breakfast and the early morning sky is red and the day is young and promise sits on the lips of each blooming flower. We have waffles and coffee that is strong and dark and that steams in the cold of the morning air.

We walk into town, passing young men and young women off from work for the day and bracing themselves against the world with their smiles and their hopes and their youthful indifference. It’s hard not to envy them and we do and we gather ourselves and smile and hope.

We pick up our bikes, our transport for the day.
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They are fine machines, sturdy and mine is made for a man and hers for a woman and we saddle up with our vigor and bottles of water and set out for the first winery of the day. It is a short ride and one that winds through fields of dormant grape vines. The vines are empty yet twine around the posts in the guise of health and shiver in the wind with anticipation of once more becoming ripe.

We arrive. There is little fanfare and only us and another couple and a thin and tall European man hosing off the tables outside the tasting room. We enter the open and empty room. A woman greets us with a glass and tells us our guide will join us shortly. The European from outside tells us he will guide us. He is tall with close cropped hair and a firm hand shake and a gaze that doesn’t break. He takes us first to the caves where the wine is stored. It is cold and damp and his thick accent bounces off the cold damp limestone. He talks of oak barrels and timing and how both are so vital to the grape and to the wine. We taste a barrel wine. It is young and like youth is vigorous and uncontrolled and unwilling to be anything than what it is. This is wine that must wait, that must be broken of that youthful spirit if it is to be of any use.
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We leave the caves and the European and once more straddle our bikes to push and pedal our way to lunch. We take our meal overlooking a tangle of brush and a small pond. We have a ragged loaf of bread, cheese, and uncured meat. The bread is tender and we rip chunks off with our hands. The cheese is softened from the sun and the meat glistens as my knife cuts into slices. We eat as the breeze settles around us and find words are unneeded.
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From lunch we wind through vines and rays of sunlight through branches of trees. The day carries us from street to street, glass to glass, and this moment to that. And we chase them all knowing that without the chase the wine would lack some flavor, that the streets would be nameless.
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That the moments would be empty. We ride and we drink and we find ourselves in a low lit restaurant just off the town square. We eat our fill of deep red meat and drink deep of long glasses of red wine. Finding ourselves fulfilled we rise from butcher papered tables to make our way home.

It is dark. It is dark and the night brings a quiet to the town square and the cold a hush to the world. We begin our walk back past dark storefronts and underneath the stars. And the wine gives us confidence and stillness gives us pause and our two hands intertwined gives us one more moment to chase.

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