Remember a couple posts back when I thought there was nothing better than a concert at a zoo? I lied, there is something better- a concert at a winery. On Saturday, our good friends from our building came with David and I to Bruce Hornsby & the Noisemakers at Chateau St. Michelle Winery in Woodinville, WA. The added bonus for us that made it really special was that Bela Fleck & the Flecktones were the opening act. We packed a picnic and went to visit our very good friends at JM Cellars whose property (called Bramble Bump) abuts Chateau St. Michelle. If you haven’t visited JM, you need to (unless you’re a loud group of women where one wears a sash that says “bachelorette” on it. In that case, go to Columbia Winery). We are wine club members at JM, help out at winery events and we had our Engagement party (west coast reception) there as well. The Bramble bump is our home away from home and one of the prettiest and most welcoming places you will ever visit (in addition to housing one of the best wine making operations in the state, in our opinion). Because of that, I have a very low tolerance for visitors who disrespect the bump. Anyways, this is about the concert….
We showed our neighbors around the property, took the path down to the pond and listened to Bruce Hornsby and Bela warm up. It was in the mid 70′s, not a cloud in the sky, and dry of course (as it usually is here during the summer,
jealous? except for this year). Just a perfect day to indulge in great wine and music. We hunkered down in Adirondack chairs underneath a tree with a rock and a tree stump as our table to enjoy our picnic. We had Italian Chicken Salad, Olive & Herb Rolls, Italian Potato Salad, Cherries, Strawberries & Whipped Cream and six different cheeses for dessert. JM closed for the day and we got to enjoy the rest of our picnic and wine while relaxing and catching up with the owners and staff. After our bottles were dry, we rolled ourselves down the hill to St. Michelle for the concert.
The grounds are gorgeous at Chateau St. Michelle. It was actually my first time there which is moderately shameful, however I prefer the smaller boutique wineries. We usually end up at Bramble Bump instead. The Chateau was certainly beautiful and the landscaping was nicely done. The peacocks and grape vines did help with the ambiance just a little. I can’t wait to have peacocks and pigs in our yard someday. The concerts are held on a grassy hill behind the winery. Most of the grass is general seating where people set up their blankets, pillows, picnics and wine. Speaking of wine… I’m used to a limit of 2 drinks at a time during concerts, even at the zoo. Not at the winery; One glass, 3 glasses, 2 bottles or 6 bottles. Whatever the quantity, that’s what you get.
The music was absolutely fantastic. It did help that we were four rows from the front. In front of the stage are a limited amount of reserved seating so we opted for those tickets. David and I are huge Bela Fleck fans (thanks to Aunt Joyce & Uncle Peter) and we see them whenever we can. The things Bela does with his banjo are extremely impressive and so fun to listen to. Bruce Hornsby had so much energy and he enjoyed acting as the conductor having different members of the bands play together. When Bruce, Bela, the Noisemakers and the Flecktones got on stage together, the music that was played was phenomenal. I’ve never seen musicians have such fun on the stage together. They kept on jamming and it was close to a four-hour concert. Bruce seemed like he didn’t want the concert to end which is why the encore kept on going. It was a gorgeous night to enjoy excellent food and wine, fantastic music and share it all with great friends.