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Richard A. Moran

Rich Moran

“I could never live in Wine Country. I like the change of seasons too much.” Huh? That’s a comment I might hear from someone who visits once a year during the same week in September. No wonder he thinks the seasons don’t change, for him it’s always the second week in September here.

Other people who know better often ask, “What’s your favorite season?” The metaphor, of course, that comes to mind is, “Who is your favorite child?” I love all of my children and I love all the seasons. Enjoying the seasons of the year is a very personal affair. I have a friend who lives in North Dakota and loves the winter. Another friend lives in Arizona and loves the summer.

The different seasons here elicit different responses from me. But I was curious about why others like each season and took an informal survey and added their responses to my own ideas. Turns out, everyone has their own reasons for loving the seasons here. Let’s count them. Since we are in the throes of winter let’s start there. One friend said she likes winter because when she smells smoke it means someone is enjoying a fire in his or her fireplace and the smell of smoke does not mean the hillsides around town are on fire. Another survey respondent said he likes winter because he can see into people’s homes. I like winter because I don’t feel guilty about what I am not doing around the property and a glass of red wine tastes better in winter. The colors are muted but beautiful and the rains bring the promise of another good season.

Spring is the season of awakening. The survey respondents were quick to point out that spring is the time for anxiety about frost after pruning. Along the same line of thinking, others pointed out that after the winter of rain and wind, spring is the time to make the To-Do list that won’t stop building until next winter. Spring, to me, is that time when the promise begins to appear. Everything looks good; smells good and the seeds start to grow.

Summer is a little crowded but there is a reason: it’s one of the most beautiful spots in the world then. One survey respondent said he loves summer because he can watch the tourists trying to turn left onto Highway 29. The hot days and cool nights mean everyone is happy including the grapes and so will we be as the grapes finally make it into a bottle.

Autumn is the harvest and the smell of grapes is in the air. It is a busy time but one full of joy as nature shows us what she can do. Survey respondents claimed it can be a dangerous time if you are driving behind an 18-wheeler loaded with too many grapes. Danger aside, it is a time of productivity and satisfaction and the belief that all is right with the world.

So all the seasons are special. In a real scientific survey done by a real survey company they found that of the four seasons, fall is the favorite, followed by summer, spring and winter. Sounds about right.

The truest answer about my favorite season is very simple. My favorite season is the one when friends and family surround me. The favorite season can bring a group for a summer picnic, or a winter feast near the fireplace, or a fall harvest celebration on the lawn or a spring potluck after pruning. It doesn’t matter. Any season here can be like a scene out of a movie and although there are some movies that I don’t like, there are no seasons here that I don’t enjoy. May the season be with you.

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Rich Moran spends his time in wine country enjoying all the seasons.

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