le bon voyage

a journal of food, wine, travel, people and places of note

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Snow Day 2014!

So here we are, out in the country of the Willamette Valley, living in an old farmhouse on 80 acres of farmland and oak savannah, just to catch you up a bit!

It normally doesn’t look like this.

Snow has covered the landscape, about 10 inches I estimate, and it keeps coming.

Kitty did not enjoy being outside and needed to be rescued. Look at that face.

Yes, I got a haircut.

Towhees and sparrows and juncos.

We’re having fun.

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Dog Mountain

Last week we took a hike up Dog Mountain on the Washington side of the Gorge. The views were beautiful and the weather was great.

You come out of the dense forest into a meadow that was in full bloom 3,950 feet up from the parking lot.

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Very exciting times here in the beautiful Willamette Valley. Bud break has passed and now the vines will soon be flowering. It is at this stage when the pollination and fertilization of the grape vine takes place. A very special time to be here in the vineyards. We will all be hoping for dry warm weather in the near future. Hard rains, hail or really nasty winds at flowering could dramatically influence this years yields and fruit quality.

Here we go!

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going home

Here we come, people. Tomorrow we leave the little home we created in Australia to return to our true home in the Pacific Northwest. We’ve had an amazing time here and of course it has gone by in a flash. Mick and I have a lot of ideas cooking for our near future, and we are so excited to move them into action. For now we have our sights set on Portland and the Willamette Valley. Hopefully we’ll be able to create a little niche for ourselves there and settle down for a while. After bumming around for the past two years we can’t wait to stay in one spot for more than 3 months!

Cheers, Australia! Thanks for everything!

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Just a short drive from us in the dry flats of McLaren Vale are the Adelaide Hills. With many of the vineyard sites situated at an average elevation of around thirteen hundred feet, which makes for a much greener view!

We ended up on the Magpie Springs farm.

It did not take long for Paige to make a friend.

The Magpie Springs tasting room.

This was a really beautiful winery with wild sprawling vineyards that were very inspiring to Paige and I.

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Nestled in the heart of Willunga, Russell’s is a fun little spot that turns out some great wood fired pizza.

As harvest is slowing down we have some time to relax and seek out little treasures like this one.