Thursday, May 12, 2011

Marterella Winery...

As we packed our bags and left our Redneck campground (winding our 3rd anniversary trip to a close), we knew we had one goal in mind. "Wood Burning Pizza Oven"...We had to visit that winery...we just met the owner yesterday, and we felt so chic. It was like meeting a celebrity. Hell, I think it was even better than meeting a celebrity. We had no idea what we were in for...

After navigating a great coffee house, Central Coffee Company in Sperryville, Virginia (Honest to goodness best coffee ever, greatest lesson in coffee tasting, and all certified National Wildlife Refuge for safe practicing of ecofriendly planting and disposal), and checking out a neat little winery called Narmada in Little Washington, we wound our way through a few pig paths to find Marterella Winery in Warrenton, Virginia.

One word, Home...

Going there was like coming home. Katherine Marterella was our kind of people. And that day, she was frazzled, stressed, all over the place. She instantly recognized us and graciously thanked us for coming. We told her we were hungry and looking forward to pizza and wine. She grinned, looked around, and ran out saying, "Shoot, I gotta get the oven going, gimme a minute"...her daughter stepped in to help pour wine and Meg and I started laughing. The girl, right out of college was not the local wine expert as she awkwardly read from the tasting notes...but something about the place stuck with us.

This was natural, and this was real. This was probably what Napa was like back when it was just honest farmers trying to make something special. It reminded me of watching "Bottle Shock". Sure there was swirling and spitting and discussion of floral accents with roundness and balance...but there were no airs. This, was the winery we wanted to open and run. This, was like Cheers.

Katherine came back to the counter and said, "Thank you so much for coming, you all truly made my day, it's been one of those days, kind of a bad day". And she kept moving with whirling dervish speed, pouring, making phone calls, and coaching her daughter on the finer points of running a business. Generally I'd find this off putting. I don't want to know if your day is bad, just serve me wine, do your job, I could care less about your life. Yet we were both strangely sucked in and felt at ease. It was like stopping by unannounced at your friend's parents house for a chat. While they were always busy, they always took time and never missed a step in running their own lives.

This was a lady running a business, making pretty good wine (The Reserve Rose and Pinot Grigio were my favorites), and giving lessons in hospitality by just being herself.

It was her house, it was a spacious sun filled room where everyone there was smiling, drinking, and laughing. Turns out, everyone there were regulars, they were all "her friends" as she said. I cannot imagine anyone going there and not being her friend (Should we move closer, we would be regulars and need help from Betty Ford herself). Katherine's personality is infectious, it's her spirit, organized, smart, businesslike, yet sometimes frazzled, sometimes all over the place. In the perfect place we all try to go and try to be, she was a reflection of what we could be if we had our own way...if we could get away with it. Casual, yet pragmatic.

As the day drew to an end, my shoes were off, Fenway was running around with the vineyard dogs, Meg was basking in the sun, and I was actually cooking the pizza in the oven. Katherine looked over and said, "Gettin' the hang of it, I think a lot of people enjoy doing that".

That, Yeah, I think we do, and I hope to be able to do a lot more of it.

1 comment:

  1. well, one day if you ever open a winery with a little cafe or something for food, i happen to know someone with a slight passion for food that might like a job cooking ;)