The pace of life can sometimes be a bit too quick for me.
I often feel like I just can’t keep up with it all, and this certainly came to a head for me back in my Toronto days. One of the things I promised myself when I moved to Niagara, was that I would purposely slow my life down a bit. I’d take time to smell those roses, savour that spectacular wine, let that gorgeous view sink in. I’d concentrate on being more fully present and aware of the good stuff around me.
But you know what?
Wherever you go, there you are.
I’ve discovered that all that pressure I felt to keep up with the pace, all that frantic racing around, and the way I responded to stress had very little to do with my life in the city.
It had to do with me.
Though I’m not in Toronto any more, I still do a lot of that same stuff. I still race around like crazy, even if I don’t need to. I still try to multitask – even though I’m a lousy multi-tasker. I still say “yes” to things I should say “no” to. I overschedule. I don’t always take good care of myself.
And my need for better quality sleep is endless.
I’ve finally realized something.
Maybe these kind of crazy ways of living are just part of who I am. And in spite of several quirks or flaws, I kind of like who I am.
Even if I suck at muti-tasking, and should still say “no” a bit more often.
To keep myself balanced though, I know that I need regular breaks from that pace.
One of the fabulous things about living here, is that I have found several spots in the region that instantly calm me down. I mean it – instantly. There’s just a quiet, soothing feeling, a vibe, something that’s hard to explain. But when I go there I feel it.
13th Street Winery is one of those places.
It’s always been a go-to spot for me, due to my great love for their 2007 Grand Cuvée, 2016 Viognier, and 2013 Sandstone Vineyard Reserve Chardonnay. Their Burger Blend Red is also one of my favourite casual, easy sipping reds.
My sweetie, Ken – who doesn’t drink at all – loves a visit to 13th Street too….all because of the bakery and their glorious butter tarts.
Now, there are two more reasons that we both love to go there.
First, it’s because of their beautiful building and grounds. New renos were completed a few months ago, and they have added even more to the relaxed, light, contemporary feel at the winery.
There are peaceful open spaces with vineyards surrounding.
The wide expanse makes it a perfect location for the skywatcher in me.
….with artwork everywhere, enhancing the natural beauty.
But, oh…..this veranda.
I could sit here for an entire afternoon so easily – sipping wine, daydreaming, listening to the rustle of the wind in the trees.
My veranda oasis gets even better. Throughout the summer, lunch is served too.
They’re never going to get rid of me now.
For my lunch, I went with the Farmer Pizza. It had fresh Simcoe asparagus, jacket roasted red onion, tomato bacon jam, blue cheese, Oka, and fresh herbs.
The crust was divine. Thin, light, with a little bit of crispiness on the edge. Exactly how I like it. The flavours on the pizza worked so well together. They had me at asparagus, blue cheese and Oka, but that tomato bacon jam is something else.
The pizza was a delicious match with their 2015 Merlot. So delicious, I indulged in a second glass – even though it was lunchtime.
What are lazy summer afternoons for?
Ken had the Smoked Brisket Sandwich, made with VG Farms brisket, and topped with smoked mustard, spiced slaw, aioli and house pickles on their fresh house-made foccaccia. He chose to have it with the daily soup.
But before we could eat, the photography ritual had to be followed.
With blog requirements out of the way, we could take our time tasting, swapping bites of each other’s plates, and chatting. We could hear the quiet hum of other voices and laughter, and the whisper of the leaves fluttering in the summer breeze
In such a tranquil environment, accompanied by good food and wine, we had the best ingredients for some soul soothing.
When we finally mustered up the energy to move from our veranda retreat, we had final two stops to make. Ken got his butter tarts, and I popped in to the tasting room for some Pink Palette.
Then we took one last slow saunter around the grounds.
A perfectly peaceful Saturday in wine country. One I definitely want to repeat before the summer is over.