I never pay attention to wine labels, but over dinner, while savoring a glass of 2011 Zinhead, the Dutch suggested I read what's inscribed on the back of the bottle. Here's what is written:
"I'm a zinhead", John Henry Snyder told me as I poured it into his glass. The passion in his eyes told me it was true. He swirled the dark liquid. Nostrils widened as he inhaled its perfume.
I sat at the piano and played. It was Bach. When I was done his glass was empty and a tear was on his cheek. "That was beautiful," he said. I'm certain he meant the wine.
This wine's for you, John Henry. And for your friends. And for the friends of your friends and all other uncompromising, unwavering, Zin Loving, Zin drinking Zinheads out there, who will never, ever settle for anything less than the lusty, seductive taste of Zinfandel.The guy who wrote that label is this guy, Tom:
Meanwhile, at Tom's, the experience is very different. Sometimes he pours wine when he's not out tending to the grapes during the growing season. Sometimes he plays the piano randomly. He doesn't hard sell his wine. Actually, he's pretty nonchalant about it, because he knows it is outstanding wine. We've picked bags of oranges twice from his overflowing tree. His wife, Carmela, told us that when his grandparents still owned the house, little Tom would ride his bike to this house (which they now own) so he could have freshly squeezed orange juice from oranges that came from the same tree.
Simply put, when you come to Heritage Oak, you come for wine and leave with something more.
Heritage Oak (www.heritageoakwinery.com) is located at 10112 E. Woodbridge Road, Acampo, CA 95220. If you go, tell them you read about them on this blog!
Stop for lunch and European-style bakery cafe at Dancing Fox located at 203 School Street, Lodi, CA.