A Toast to Good Fortunati in Napa & Sonoma Valley

In June 2013, we jetted off to Sonoma and Napa Valley, CA to celebrate the good health of all our family. In good humor after his open heart surgery, Dad reminded us frequently that "death did him part" from my Stepmom Janie.  So we were obligated to participate in a renewal of their vows to re-establish the validity of their marriage.  Luckily for us those vows were renewed in breathtaking Sonoma, CA. 

One of the highlights of our trip was a visit to Fortunati Vineyards. If you have visited Napa or Sonoma, you know well that that each vineyard, tasting room, and wine grower offers their own unique experience. No two are alike, except for the common thread that most typically welcome you in with warm, open arms and exceptional wine. 

On this particular afternoon, we had a ton of fun traipsing around TruchardTy Caton, and others, but this one was our favorite of the day!  Sure, we had been drinking wine most of the day, but it wasn't just that. Ellen (the owner) welcomed us into her home with open arms and hospitality that rivals that of many good Southerners. You could say we felt right at home.  Thank you, Ellen!! 

In addition to uncorking her best cabs, zins, rose, and viognier, Ellen treated us to plate after plate of amazing Napa cheeses and breads. We sat on her back porch in what felt like the center of the Napa Valley, with a view looking North that seemed to stretch on for miles. 

It was as if we were old friends invited over for an afternoon party. We were surrounded by fields of tall vines, in complete seclusion in the middle of the wide-open Valley air. It was complete serenity.

Even her dogs snuggled up to us and became fast friends.  In all honesty, I'm not really a dog person.  But these two quickly won my heart!


I think it is safe to say that we were able to breathe a sigh of relief that afternoon at Forunati. It all come to a head there. We laughed comfortably in full zeal without second guesses to what could happen next. Then and there, we found our peace eight months later, after our Dad's cardiac arrest and near death.

The odds were very much against us last October, but somehow Dad made it. Good fortunati smiled upon us, and we are deeply grateful for it. Here's a toast to you Dad! We love you very much!