To those in attendance at the Valentines at the Hollow this 2012 year: Thank you. For making the night, and all that preceded it, a fantastic ride.
To those unable to make it, or new to this blog and curious about Harris Bridge Vineyard, its event space The Hollow, and its annual February love bash, flag February 2013 to be a participant in what has become a much anticipated, poetry- and song-packed multi-course and –wine extravaganza, where the valleys’ bounties are put to use and celebrated in flavors, verse, and a rollicking good time.
The evening begins at 5. You arrive to the vines in their winter suits and a melt-swollen river roaring beneath the dim bridge. You step up into the tall, glowing tasting room, its two long rose-bouqueted tables. Welcome. A celebratory glass of bubbly, some mingling in the room’s growing sounds, while more arrive until you’re 40 all, and then it’s time to sit and begin the evening’s flavors.
First, a bright Pinot Gris from the Willamette Valley’s Westrey, paired with Denison Farm’s baby greens decorated with beets and dressed; next, Big River’s crusty pugliese and Fraga’s sumptuous goat cheeses; after, Nuthatch’s big Syrah to compliment the Brasato di Maiele, made of pork raised across the road from Gathering Together Farm where the meal’s main course veggies were sown, grown, harvested, chopped, sautéed, simmered; and last, succulent Bad Cupcake treats with the gorgeous, rich Magnolia Pinot Noir dessert wine from right here, where you’re sitting and feasting and grinning and laughing and, yes, friends, you are singing.
The evening holds the beats of jazz and folk, a bit of vibrato, and between the salad and pork an unassuming gentleman at the head of one table is all of a sudden speaking with your host of John Denver, Placido Domingo, key the music and the two tables belt Perhaps Love in chorus, one length of guests as Denver, the other Domingo, the recording strong in the background while eighty extra lungs sing out their parts. Later, because the night is surprises, a slow song threads the speakers and several pairs leave their seats to dance, those who weren’t told the cue following quickly, no chaperone in sight, just sweethearts being sweet with cheeks and twirls and dips. And of course, as is custom at this Hollow event, Chaucer makes a noteworthy, hilarity-ensuing appearance, as the night, beneath the wide pinpricked sky, arcs towards its end.
You’ve made new friends, visited old ones, exercised your teeth and pitch and heart and been nimble as kids again, love-drunk, now sated.
We appreciate you sharing with us, and as always, we look forward to the fun and flavors and friends and family who will join in next year. Remember: February 2013. With you here, it’ll be the best yet.