This time, wine not whine
August 17, 2009
by Jenni Sebora

My husband and I celebrated our 15th anniversary last week. Each year, we choose a different dining experience, usually coupled with a movie or a play, which is my top choice. This year, though, we opted for some wine tasting and a dinner.

A few weeks ago, I was informed of the relatively new winery near Delano, Woodland Hill Winery. It offers a tasting room with a small charge for wine tasting. On weekends, visitors can also take tours and observe the wine-making process.

The winery is set on some beautiful acreage outside of Delano and is overlooking Fountain Lake. Beautiful trees also adorn the property. There is inside as well as outside seating.

Since it was a Wednesday evening, a tour was not available and we were the lone wine tasters there, which was most appropriate for an anniversary celebration, and I am always open for learning some new things. The process of growing an orchard of fruit and caring for it fascinates me. Hearing the story of a dream turned into reality is always refreshing.

The owners at WoodLand Hill, a couple and their young daughter, had a passion and made it come alive with the generous help of friends and family to help care for the gardens.

The spring of 2005 was the beginning of the winery. Many acres of vines were planted and it has thrived with seven different varieties of grapes. The first harvest was in the fall of 2007.

They also grow their own rhubarb and raspberries, which are also used in the production of their wines. Neighboring orchards and berry farms, fruit is also used in their wines.

The wines are wonderful, and my husband and I have our favorites. My husband’s top pick is the rhubarb wine, which was also one of my favorites.

A host of other fun events occur throughout the year. During the month of August, live music and appetizers can be enjoyed each Friday evening.

My husband and I, along with our children, plan on going back Saturday, Aug. 22 for the German Fest, which offers German food, music, and dancing on the winery’s beautiful setting.

Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 5 and 6 there is also an art festival planned with music and 50 artists and craft displays. I could enjoy this event, as well. The web site has a complete list of upcoming events.

As we did not bring a picnic lunch along to enjoy on the winery’s veranda, we headed to Buffalo for a dinner at a golf course club house. I opted for a salmon dinner with grilled vegetables and polenta cakes, and my husband had his top choice of steak and a baked potato.

Of course, always the favorite is the conversation shared between the two of us. Not often, except when the kids are sleeping for the night, do we have a large amount of undisturbed time for sharing and talking.

I always look forward to spending an evening with my husband in his company. We share in the same dreams for our family and children, and within that is that special bond that is created between spouses. I can share things with him about myself, our children, our family, our home, and no one else but he can understand as deeply the meaning in these conversations.

As we shared this evening, we once again reaffirmed that we need to do this more on a regular basis. This alone time is a time of reconnecting with each other making our relationship even stronger. What better gift can you give your children than a healthy relationship between parents? It is the best anniversary gift.

Fifteen years of marriage is certainly not a lifetime, but I have learned things over the course of those years. There are certainly ebbs and flows in marriage. There are times, or even years, that are better than others, but that is what marriage is about. A commitment between two people in good times, and not as good times.

I also know that (not to get overly sentimental) my husband is my best friend. We talk a lot. We ask each other for advice. We are different in many ways, but we share the same vision and the same value system for our family. We are partners. Marriage is a partnership.

Although the evening’s dinner and wine were good, the company was even better.