>We went to the Bridlewood vineyard today, which was one of the most amazing places I’ve ever been to, and on another gorgeous day.

Bridlewood is right up next to the east/west mountain range, which gives the syrah grapes a flavor like nowhere else. 90% of the 105 acre output is syrah, of which we tried three, including the #5 Syrah in the Syrah du Monde competition in France.

Syrah grapes – sweet and juicy, although with bitter, crunchy seeds.

I loved the pipe rail. Elegant yet practical.

Bridlewood has only been a winery for 15 years or so. Previously, it was a racehorse rehabilition facility, and there are racehorses there still, as well as a small track and stables. Remnants of the property’s past life show up everywhere.

The cellar used to be the stables.

A horse stall now holds a temperature-controlled cask.

The award-winning Syrah, straight from the cask.

And the final product.

I wanted one of these plants – the texture of the seed pods was like felt. I’ve never seen something like this before.

Then, we had a lovely lunch in Los Olivos – John had a fresh crabmeat sandwhich, and I had the most lovely salad with cumin-toasted pumpkin seeds, a bleu cheese vinaigrette, avocado and tomato, and then we got coffee and cupcakes at the sweetest little cupcake shop. I adore cupcakes. We got a small flight of them, including some with wine in them – which were of course phenomenal.