Not exactly a limosine on the outside, but these are the wheels that took us on our wine tasting tour last night out to Prosser. It was just like a limo on the inside, complete with cushy seats & two big TV screens. We watched a Michael Jackson music video on the way home. Not sure where that came from ... but it was entertaining to watch Stephanie do her moves on a moving bus! Secretly, I was relieved that it was this big bus versus a stretch limo as I am more than a little claustrophobic and couldn't really picture all of us in a car together. Heck, this was just like riding public transportation, with booze.
It was a beautiful ride to our first stop at The Aviator Winery in Prosser. I had no idea there were so many wineries nearby but there were actually three within walking distance of our first stop. The people at The Aviator were very nice and gave us a great tour of their place. I was most slightly interested in the process of wine making and the owner gave us a good, shortened-up version of it. I can't remember it all but I know it involves grapes, big metal vats, taking out the sludge on schedule and bottling it. It smelled really weird in the room where the vats were and I was glad when we moved on to the another part of the building. I didn't have a thing to drink but I have a little headache this morning. Probably from the non-stop laughter or the smell of diesel fuel from our "limo". When we got to our final destination, Alexandria Nicole Cellars, they fed us the most delicious thin crust, gourmet pizza with several types of gourmet cheeses & grapes. Before we left, they brought out some divine chocolate brownies that were to die for. I do have some fun co-workers who like to cut loose when out of the office and once they brought me perhaps the best cup of coffee I've ever had, I didn't need wine to talk & laugh. Coffee does that to me ... especially the good stuff!
I love how they strung a few lights on the vats! There were a couple of guys back here that were working the whole time we were touring. I guess they are probably busy all winter long even though the grape vines are under snow.
The picture with the guy holding what looks like fruit punch is wine that he has just let out of one of those vats. It was cloudy and a bright color and I missed the part where he talked about how they take all the impurities out to make it clear and a different color. Apparently, it still tastes the same and he poured it into several people's glasses to try. He was a very proud wine-maker, I could tell. Wine is big business around here, no doubt about it.
They also invited us up in the trailer where they do the labeling and bottling. I liked seeing that process. It reminded me of the cheese factory in Tillamook, Oregon. There's something fascinating about those conveyor belts, moving the product around that just makes me want to sit and watch it all day. The guys running the labeling machine were really nice to us and were happy to show us how it worked.
I threw in a picture of some of my co-workers. That's Caroline, Kim, Becky and Tara. They are super, duper nice people and we have a great group of staff at my office. Really. I mean that! So, the office party is now behind us. I've seen the inside of a winery. It was never on my bucket list but I guess I could put it on there and cross it off just for the sake of doing it. I doubt I'll ever get the hankering to go into another winery again.