Bruce Hilliard Vineyard and Winery - Photo Brenda C Hill
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Bruce Hilliard Vineyard and Winery – Photo Brenda C Hill

Spending a sunny Saturday learning, sipping fine wine, and tasting terrific grilled cuisine is my kind of late summer day.

Back at the Bruce Hilliard Vineyard and Winery, a large group of wine enthusiasts learned how the 1,220 acres of sandy soil along the highway 246 corridor produces rich and savory regional wines.

Seminar co-hosts for the informative learning and tasting session were Philip Carpenter and Wes Hagen, along with a dozen panel experts, including my friend, Bryan Babcock.

Although a member of the Babcock Wine Club during the 1990s, I was amazed at how the wine farming area near Lompoc has grown.

There are now over 25 thriving vineyards representing this cool region. Their mission has been met. The growers are producing several varieties of world class Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.

Al fresco grilled lunch on Saturday.

Tamales, grilled chicken and pork, cool salad and more wine, of course.
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Tamales, grilled chicken and pork, cool salad and more wine, of course – Photo Brenda C. Hill

IFWTWA's Melanie Kaminski enjoying tamales in the shade on a perfect day
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IFWTWA’s Melanie Kaminski enjoying tamales in the shade–a perfect day- Photo Brenda C.Hill

Fresh greens and avocados - Photo Brenda C. Hill
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Fresh greens and avocados – Photo Brenda C. Hill

Fresh greens and avacados lovingly served for a terrace luncheon by Hitching Post II.

 

After the seminar we gathered on the shaded Hilliard Bruce terrace to enjoy mellow music by The Luck, sip more wine, and feast on succulent grilled pork, chicken and stuffed tamales by the famous Hitching Post 2.

The chefs grill over an open fire of red oak, a style of cooking that is native to the area and goes back to the days of the Spanish Rancheros. Hitching Post wines are sold in the restaurant and to the public.

Red and white varieties were generously offered at the seminar luncheon.

Bruce Hilliard Vineyard Wines - Photo Brenda C. Hill
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Bruce Hilliard Vineyard Wines – Photo Brenda C. Hill

Although it was difficult to leave the relaxed ambiance of the terrace, I knew that more corks would be popping and fires would be sizzling for the chilling and grilling grand tasting.

More about La Purisma Mission local grand celebration and how you can be a part of it in 2017, after my journey back to the Connecticut hillside vineyards for the autumn harvest.

 

Brenda C. Hill
International Food Wine & Travel Writers Association

Society of Professional Journalists

California Writers Club
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Brenda Hill is an Events Blogger with Amigos de La Cruz for the Vallarta Tribune. The weekly covers entertainment, art, culture, and news for Riviera Nayarit,
Puerto Vallarta.

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