Family travel inspiration from the Mendocino Coast
Most of the time, family travel is all about the ins and outs of traveling with the kids. Other times, it’s about family-oriented epiphanies, observations, and/or discoveries when traveling while the kids are back at home.
This past weekend, Powerwoman and I were lucky enough to experience the latter form of family travel. The two of us were traveling solo—my mother-in-law was watching the girls—as part of our annual unplugged and tech-free trip. We were staying just north of Fort Bragg at the Inn at Newport Ranch, a breathtaking new spot on the Mendocino Coast. And we had dinner with some wonderful people on the first night.
Our hosts, Creighton and Cindi Smith, are the innkeepers at Newport Ranch; they’re the ones who prepared the meal. In addition to us, they invited two of their friends, Guy and Sarah Pacurar.
Guy and Sarah are innkeepers, too—they own the Brewery Gulch Inn, another great spot on the Mendo County coast, much closer to Mendocino. When Guy and Sarah aren’t running their inn, they run a fledgling winery.
This is where the family part comes in. You see, the name of Guy and Sarah’s winery is Fathers & Daughters. Guy named it after his two daughters. Since Sarah’s father owns the vineyard in which the winery’s grapes are grown, Guy also named the endeavor after his father-in-law. Do the math: The label celebrates two fathers and three daughters.
You can’t get much more family-oriented than that.
I admit, I’m a sucker for the whole daddy/daughter story; I’ve got two daughters now and will have three of them by the time I turn 40 later this year. Still—the story behind Fathers & Daughters is a juicy one (pardon the pun). And the wine is great, too.
We tasted the 2012 Ella’s Reserve Pinot Noir; a bright, fragrant and complex pinot made with some of my favorite clones (I won’t get too wine geeky here, I promise). I’d describe the wine as being light and full-bodied at the same time (the tasting notes use the phrase, “lean and lush”). Most important, the wine is named after Guy and Sarah’s daughter, Ella.
While I like the wine itself, the family connection is what I like best about this brand. And that doesn’t surprise me at all. Even when we’re not on a “family vacation,” we can be inspired by family-oriented experiences on the road. Even when we’re not traveling with our girls, they’re with us when we go.
Once a family traveler, always a family traveler, I guess. I wouldn’t want it any other way.