Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Perfect Kiss

The Perfect Kiss
 The soft touch of your lips
 Calls to me as our worlds become one
 And our souls collide in conversation of
 Whispered feelings that light up
 The flame of welcome desire
 Can be seen in our eyes
 As we plan our escape
 From the present into a place
 That we share in our hearts
 That beat rhythmically with the pulse
 Of the music playing softly
 In the background of our minds
 That store thoughts of our evening
 In hopes it will never end
 Without the soft touch of your lips.

 By Bryan Bennington

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Pine Lane

Pine Lane


Follow the brick road up the hill.

It’s a path I choose to take by will.

As it narrows, this path I follow,

Will lead me to a tranquil hollow.


A twist and turn takes me to,

Mr Squirrel who says hello how do you do?

Blue blazes hide from camouflaging skies.

Like skeletons the tree trunks rise.


The hawk flies above telling his tail,

As wires cross the sky to reveal his cell.

The nuthatch & woodpecker keep me company,

While my staff holds my hand confidently.


Pines surround me and through the earth,

Arms reach up to steal my birth.

I watch my step, not allowing them to savor,

Avoiding their hands and returning the favor.


Down the hill the silence comes,

A defining note that the forest hums.

A deer passes by and I keep his pace.

Eye to eye I stride till he wins the race.


Through the hut of fallen vine,

A home in Walden should be so fine.

In the summer I am sure it provides,

A slumber for the wolf within its ivies.


Alas, I’ve come to the end

Humans stop me and question.

I turn to take the road back home

And at the fork I am not alone.


My friends on Pine Trail whisper to me,

Keep us company and you will see,

The faces of the trees on your way back

And the peace that you seek will not lack.


Now the forest is the tamer and I am the shrew

The path has changed due to the hue.

Trying not to get lost in this bewildering sight

I listen to her whisper as day turns to night.


Finding my way through valley and hillside

With a kinder heart for those who reside.

Back on the trail where the deer darted

The blue blazes brought me to the brick road where I started.


By Bryan Bennington


Season One



The sun shines brightly,

Though death lies in its rays.

As life is renewed

To those who have paid.


The cardinal sings a song

That awakens the dead.

While the frost blankets birth

As the weed bears its head.


The skeletons wail,

Their life long been borrowed.

As their seed hails

The awaking hour.


Luminous the day grows,

The timeless scene unveiled

As the witness of the ageless past

Reminds us that life won’t last.


In an instant the stars rush bye

The smells of death wave and sigh.

The life of new, the canvas shows

Is the power of he who knows.


That in this time of grey and shower,

Life’s precious price is paid tomorrow.


By Bryan Bennington

In Memory



As loving as a child

Full of peace and kindness

Unconditional giving without taking

Beautiful and full of life

Always in the presents of God


As beautiful as a snow fall

A winter day dressed in white

The glistening branches

Like jewels on a forest

Inviting the sun to share its splendor


As caring as a mother

Giving her soul to her children

A smile that shines brightly

And lights up the room

Inviting, giving, sharing, never ending


As wonderful as a women

A companion for life

Through good times and bad

Organized, caressing, listening, cooking

Proud to be by his side, without a regret


As giving as a friend

Willing to sacrifice everything

Teaching, laughing, always asking

Comforting on the saddest days

Illuminating happiness the next


As perfect as a sunset

Peaceful and wonderful

Knowledge that all was fulfilled

Laying to rest on the horizon

Waiting to show its face once more



Daughter, wife, mother, and friend

To know her was to love her

You will never be forgotten

With love till we meet again


By Bryan Bennington

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Choose a Path

As men we need nothing,

But society believes us to need everything.

At Walden, a man needs nothing more than his own skin.

But not the citizen in public, who finds himself naked like Adam.

It is he, who has his eyes opened to society,

And blisters himself to hide in home and clothing too substantial.


Count your possessions, and tally your expenses,

Then decide which ones are necessary and which are mere waste.

Would your nakedness be hidden,

If you never acquired as much in the first place?

History of a vine...

The story goes: In 1856 a German-Swiss immigrant named Adam Uhlinger brought the first Zinfandel vine planting over from Europe and started a winery in Amador County. Now, the Sobon family owns the original vineyards, which still are home to those original Zinfandel plants; which brings us to our wines this month. Sobon Estate Old Vine Zinfandel and Viognier are made by the Sobon family in a state of the art sustainable facility.
The lineage of California’s Zinfandel vines dates back to the mid-1800s. Although, the claim of Mr. Uhlinger was not legally recorded, it is uncertain if the vines Adam Uhlinger planted were the first Zinfandel plants in California. Nevertheless, for argument sake, we will say they were. Since then, the deed to the vineyards has traded hands multiple times. The original winery “D’Agostini Winery” started by Mr. Uhlinger. still stands. This historical building, made from hand cut stone from a nearby quarry and contains barrels used by Uhlinger that he made himself from California Oak, is now a Museum, displaying the relevance of Amador Wine Country. The Sobon family purchased the land and winery in 1989. The Sobon Estate has taken increasing strides year after year to become a natural and sustainable winery. Along with their other property, Shenandoah Vineyards, the Sobons have taken Amador County wine making to the highest level.

At Shenandoah Vineyards, a state of the art solar system has been installed. This 63-Kw photovoltaic system supplies the winery with 100% of its electrical needs; as well as having been retrofitted with the most efficient lighting technology. The carbon footprint of both wineries has surpassed the neutral rating. Meaning they eliminate more CO2 from the environment than they use. Both properties recycle everything back into the eco-system. All paper, glass and metal waste is reused as seen fit. All the compost is put back into the vineyards to guarantee fertile soil, crucial for the vines vigor.  

Leon and Shirley Sobon founded Shenandoah Vineyards in 1977. They have grown their winery from producing 1,200 cases to well over 40,000 cases per year. Their goal has always been to produce wines that showed the true character of the grape and terrior, with allowing as little input from humans as possible. Now their son Paul carries on this tradition. Paul’s knowledge of wine making and vineyard management stems from his experiences in Europe, Australia, Japan and his degree from UC Davis in California. Paul has taken tradition one step further, by using hand sorting methods from the vineyard to crush and crushing the Zinfandel grapes by foot, this eliminates another step often done by machinery.
Sobon Estate is responsible for making some of the best Zinfandels in California; as they should be, if they are using the oldest Zinfandel vines in the state. This month our red wine is one of those wines. The Sobon 2010 Old Vines Zinfandel received a score of 91 points, phenomenal for a wine that retails for $14.99 a bottle. This is a fragrant, rich, full-bodied Zinfandel with a bold fruit forward approach. It is a wine made for everyday consumption; however, it will improve for up to five years of bottle age. The wine is comprised of 97% Zinfandel, from several of their old vineyards, and 3% Petite Sirah. The use of older oak barrels during the aging process helps maintain the fruits freshness. In 2012, this Old Vine Zin won a gold medal at The World Wine Championships and a silver medal at the San Francisco State Fair. This wine pairs well with any grilled meat or pasta dish. We also recommend pairing this Zin with BBQ chicken wings, pizza or any other football game fare you may bring to the table.  
Our white wine from Sobon is their 2011 Viognier. The Sobon family has committed this Estate primarily to Rhone style wines. The vineyards are comprised of not only old vine Zinfandels, but also Rousanne, Viognier, Syrah, Tannant, Petite Sirah, as well as Sangiovese and Barbera. I believe this (Sobon) Viognier is one of the best I have ever had, including wines from France. The grapes are from mature vines, receiving no irrigation, which produce small yields of highly intense flavored berries. The aromas are capturing. The smell of meadow flowers along with hints of peach and honeysuckle transform into a mouth-watering seduction of fruit and spice with a long lingering finish. This Viognier was barrel fermented and left on lees to create its dynamic flavors. The winemaker recommends seafood and even pepper-steak to pair with this wine. We agree with the pairing of pepper-steak, but this leaves the door open for other spicy foods such as Szechwan or a milder green curry dish. Honestly, this wine is perfect by itself and food need not get in the way of the wonderful flavors that Paul has obtained in this wine. Just a note, the Viognier is a small batch wine and is completely sold out (we got everything they had left)!


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