There are some things that change after you hear "you have cancer". Experiences become more precious. Staying connected with friends and family is important. And doing what you enjoy is a priority. Sometimes they all converge and everything connects in ways you never imagined and just complete the circle. This is part one of a travel log and a story of how things come full circle.
With longtime friends Chris and Dani, Doug and I and planned a trip to San Francisco. A well-needed break for us and a celebration of empty nesting for our friends. Oh, and a reunion of sorts with Dani’s sister Jen and her family.
Doug and I don’t have many, or really any celebrity connections, but we do have Brent Wagener. He works in the wine biz with Wine Trends, Inc. and Brent is a man with more passion about his work than any I have ever known. He also commits to wearing pink for 31 straight days every October. Upon hearing of our trip this good friend didn’t hesitate to spring into action doing what he does, introducing people to fine wine.
I was still exchanging texts with Brent about his plans for us as Jen’s Toyota Highlander rumbled down Rt 121. We could see the acres of vines all in neat rows and smell the eucalyptus in the air. Per Brent’s request, Cline Family Cellars had a table set and waiting for us to arrive.
We all decided it best to have food in our stomachs before we proceeded with the wine tasting. Our quick grab-and-go Trader Joe’s lunch of fruit, cheese, and prosciutto went perfectly with the honey, orange, and pineapple notes of Cline's 2016 Roussanne Marsanne.
Satiated by our lunch suited for a picnic in Tuscany, our Cline hostess gave us a tour of the grounds. We sipped a delicate pink 2016 Mourvedre Rose’ which became a refreshing accompaniment to the beautiful scenery. We strolled passed the mature eucalyptus trees surrounding the gardens in full bloom weaving around the small ponds to see and hear about the ancient vines and how the eucalyptus affects the flavors of the wine.
I was most intrigued by Cline’s sustainable approach to their operation. In February and March, they bring in over 1500 sheep and 500 goats to clean the vine rows. Goats aren’t as picky about what they eat which makes them great for clean up but unlike sheep, the goats will also eat the leaves and berries from the vines. So in summer months, only sheep are brought in to help leaf the vines so sunlight can ripen the fruit and to munch the summer weeds on the land's surface. The animals are put out together once more in November to clean up any residues after harvest.
The Cline property has several buildings all powered by solar panels and in addition to wine making is home to a variety of rescued exotic birds. The property houses a small museum which is a popular field trip for all local school children. The historic Mission San Francisco Solan, the 21st, the last and northernmost mission was built in Sonoma Valley. The Cline family purchased and preserved a collection of scale sized models of all 21 missions founded as religious and military outposts by Spanish Catholic missionaries of the Franciscan Order on “The Royal Road" between 1769 and 1823 and house them in the museum.
After a stop in the warehouse to see all of the barrels of aging wine and new experimental terracotta vats that will be used to create small batches of wine with a different flavor profile we returned to our table to continue our tasting. With a list of reds before us, we started tasting. I recognized the Cashmere right away having had it before. It's silky, smooth and rich flavor is memorable. I love the rich berry flavors mixed with chocolate and a hint of black pepper. Spectacular!
But this is where it comes full circle. I noticed the back of the label made note of Cline’s "Cashmere Cares" program. Fred and Nancy Cline commit to supporting breast cancer research and Alzheimer's patient care with annual donations. With over $270,000 in total donations to date, Cashmere is the wine that gives back. I knew right then this was the wine to help kick off Lisa Robin’s official support of Maple Tree Cancer Alliance.
I have a working studio and we always welcome friends and customers to stop in but about once a quarter I officially open the studio to the public. On June 1st, 2nd, and 3rd I will be hosting a “Lisa Robin Jewelry Open Studio” to introduce my latest collection of jewelry designs and will be offering tastings of Cline's Cashmere.
A portion of the jewelry sales during the open studio, whether in person or online, will be donated to Maple Tree Cancer Alliance. Based right here in Dayton, Ohio, Maple Tree Cancer Alliance is a non-profit organization serving individuals battling cancer with exercise, nutrition, and fellowship programs. They were very good to me and I want to give back.
Please join me in supporting Maple Tree Cancer Alliance and taste for yourself how luscious Cline’s Cashmere wines are and give back a second time when you purchase Cline Cashmere yourself. I am getting the Cline wines I will be serving at Ray’s Wine Spirits Grill at 8268 North Main St in Clayton, OH. If you go you might as well enjoy the food and live music while you are there and tell Tony I said “Hi”. You can also find Cline Family Cellars wines at Dorothy Lane Market or Arrow Wine.