William at the Winery

W's music teacher is in a jazz trio, and since they were playing a free event at a nearby winery, told us about it during class last week and invited us to come out. He said he thought it would start at 5pm. The winery's facebook page also had the event running from 5-9pm, so I figured great, I'll take W out there from 5-6 and still be home in time for dinner and bed. T was originally scheduled to go to dinner with one of his friends, so I arranged to go with my neighbor.

We got out there around 5pm on Friday, but they said the event wasn't really starting until 6:30. Oh. NOW, they tell you. We spent a little time checking the place out since I hadn't been there before. It's a new winery, so the building is brand new, and nice. They had the catwalk over the barrel room open, and W particularly liked seeing the forklift. He also learned to discern between barrels and tanks (they age some wine in oak barrels, some in steel tanks).

Two of W's buddies from class (actually he's known them a long time-- since last year's short-lived baby club) were there, but he didn't interact with them much. The younger boy and his parents left about 20 minutes after they arrived. The other couple with 2 kids stayed longer, but were still gone well before we headed out.

I didn't know if we'd be able to stay to hear the band-- W can be pretty manageable in one place for an hour, but an hour and a half before the band started plus so close to bedtime would be pushing it. So my neighbor, K, and I figured we'd just sample some of the wines, stay for one glass, then head out. I sat W up on the counter while I was wine-tasting (since we arrived early, it was not crowded, although we were far from the only ones who read the notice that it started at 5pm). W saw me smelling the bouquet with each glass, so I swirled the wine to let him smell, too. He stuck his little nose in the glass and sniffed, it was just the cutest thing ever.

We had snagged a few chairs at a table when we arrived, and when we went to sit down with the Cabernet Franc (my favorite of the three I tasted), it turned out that K randomly knew the other couple who were sitting at the same table (they have kids around the same age) so we chatted for a bit while W amused himself taking things out of my purse.

The band showed up just as we were getting ready to leave, and W's teacher came over to say they'd be playing in just five minutes, so I consented to stay a little longer. They were selling overpriced mushroom empanadas in the back room, but since W had already powered through the baby granola bar I keep stashed in my bag and was asking for more, I knew I had to feed him something to stave off a scene. So we settled in again for a little dinner and dancing.

W watched the trio with rapt attention. They were up on a balcony above the tasting bar, so everyone could see them. W sat on my lap and stared up, and played air guitar along with the band. At one point, they played a jaunty tune and I even got W up to dance, which he really enjoyed. I'm glad we stayed a little later to catch the music, W really did enjoy it quite a bit, and we were still home before 7:30pm so bedtime wasn't delayed by much.

So W's first trip to a winery was a success. I'll have to keep my eye out for events that start earlier. It hadn't occurred to me to go to a winery for a toddler-friendly event, but this might be a good resource for things to do that don't involve a trip all the way to Cville. There are many wineries out here in the western part of the county near us, so I guess we might as well use that to our advantage. And once the weather gets nice, they usually have great big yards and wide open places for W to run around. This one had a pond that W was very excited to see (although he seemed to keep looking for owls instead of ducks based on his hooting and pointing, although it was too cold for either).