Wine country is a magical place for me and now that we’re in the holiday season and about to have our son out of school for 3 weeks for winter recess, it seems that a visit in clearly required. And yes, My Kid Loves Wine Country, but no, he doesn’t drink the wine (yet). We as a family have been regularly going from our home in Los Angeles up to the Santa Barbara wine country area, at least 4-6 times a year. This started when my son was just 3-months old.
Picture this, Mom and Dad bleary eyed from new parental exhaustion head up to their beloved wine country with their new baby. The fresh, crisp air instantly awakens their senses and they are excited and happy to be there. At the first stop, Dad, Mom, and Baby (strapped to Mommy in one of those archaic Baby Bjorn’s). We’re in the tasting room, enjoying, mingling, chatting with other fellow tasters, and tasting some interesting wines – all while our son sleeps in his holster on one of us at a time.
Wine country is beautiful, and not just because of the awesome wine tasting experience. Here in LA I feel we’re spoiled. Only a short, 90 minute drive away from crowded, smelly, smoggy Los Angeles – you can be away in farm country. Vineyard and groves and rolling hills in every direction that you can see. The air is clean and perfect.
So back to the point – my kid then, and now 7 years later, loves going up there. Due to state law (and our out preferences) he stays outside of the tasting rooms. One of us goes in, grabs a taste and notes, and comes back outside to one of the great outdoor picnic areas and we taste together. My son meanwhile, will see other kids to talk to up there, collect sticks, check out the cool giant leaves, and look for animals (everything from horses, cows, lizards, birds and ostriches). He just loves being outside, seeing the new environments, and having family bonding time. Many of the wineries now even have bocce ball courts so we get a little competition in as well.
Wine country can be a fun, family friendly event (yes, read that as moderation!). Then, don’t forget, the awesome dinner BBQ joints up in the area as all so perfect for kiddies too.
Anyone else bring their kid(s) up to wine country now and then? Am I crazy or on to something?