Where's Wilma???

I've been halfway around the world and back. Literally. On October 7, Click photo to enlarge! I left for Rome, to meet up with roughly 30 Dry Creek Vineyard wine club members for a cruise along the Italian and Croatian coastlines. I had crossed my t's and dotted my i's to make sure that I could in good conscience go on this "business" (albeit monkey) trip. By the time I ended up in Europe, my neck was so knotted up and I had such a raging headache that I thought I would explode. Furthermore, The Husband and I were barely speaking to each other. Great I thought. Just what I need, to be stuck with my business partner bobbing up and down in the Mediterranean  pretending to be all happy happy and nicey nicey while we attempt to be the consummate wine country hosts. Thankfully, the time away and beauty of our surroundings quickly removed any stress and strain we had brought with us from home. And, we quickly settled back into our happily married selves.

Click photo to enlarge! We met up with fellow club members at our designated gathering spot near the Coliseum.  There's something surreal about this corner of the world, where gladiators dueled, Romans conquered and the crossroads of civilization existed for so many ancient cultures.  But, I was feeling anxious.  What if no one got along? What if they turned out to be a bunch of dweebs? What if we had an incessant complainer in the group??  Happily, none of these nasty thoughts came true as we boarded the transfer bus that took us to our beautiful sailing ship, the Windstar.

This is the third time we've hosted a wine cruise. Click photo to enlarge!Admittedly, it's a fantastic excuse for a vacation but it also serves as a great way to build loyalty, get to know our customers and break bread with new friends. It didn't take long for us all to relax and enjoy each other's company. We were a diverse assortment of individuals from all over the country, bound together by a love of Dry Creek wines and an adventuresome spirit. It doesn't get much better than that, now does it?

In the preceding days, we continued to bond, enjoying the most amazing scenery and romantic ports of call. By day, we were all about sightseeing, covering as much ground as we could.  By night, we wined and dined, drinking single vineyard wines that we had shipped in to accompany our dinners. (18 cases in all!) Click photo to enlarge!

I have never enjoyed myself more thoroughly.

Our itinerary covered the ports of Capri , Taormina/Sicily, Dubrovnik, Montenegro, the Croatian island of Hvar, and Venice. It's hard to single out what was best; we had so many incredible experiences together:

Sipping Cabernet at midnight while watching Stromboli spew its molten lava every 20 minutes precisely like clockwork. Truly magical. Strolling the streets of Kotor, the ancient seaside city of Montenegro, learning about the complex and colorful history of this "fairy tale" Click photo to enlarge!city. Discovering the forgotten way of life on Hvar, one of the prettiest islands I've visited with its hand terraced slopes of lavender and vineyards. Visiting a small winery in Croatia, learning about the simple yet endearing wines these vintners have produced for centuries. Note: after tasting Plavits Malie for the umpteenth time, I'm still not convinced it's at all related to Zinfandel.

There are just too many memories to share them all. All I can say is if you're looking for a great vacation idea, please join us on a future trip. We've already been asked to host another in 2011 and are looking into a couple of possible itineraries. The Greek Isles and Istanbul are possibilities as is Tahiti. (Stay tuned...)

As with all great vacations, those first days back are when you try Click photo to enlarge! desperately to hang on to that vacation glow.  I'm still clinging to it. Especially now that I'm sitting at the airport waiting for my plane to depart for New York—for my last business trip of the year-hooray!

But this time I feel different. I feel happy. I feel refreshed. I feel full of gratitude for the many travel companions and loyal customers who I can now call friends.

Hopefully I'll discover more of the same in the Big Apple!

| | Comments (4)


CHUCK JOHNSON Author Profile Page said:
November 10, 2010 12:40 AM

Hey Kim,

Sounds like you had a much needed, well-deserved vacation. The perfect get-away. Everyone needs a break from reality. That's one of the reasons why I come to Wine Country. You guys are my getaway! In fact, I've been cycling in the vines once a month for the last 5 months. I'm planning another cycling trip to Sonoma wine country in December. I'm looking for to visiting Dry Creek Vineyard again & seeing you & your fine staff. Keep up the great work.

Kim (aka Wilma) Author Profile Page said:
November 10, 2010 11:49 PM

Hi Chuck,
I've always found it ironic that I (we) have to LEAVE wine country for a break when the rest of the world COMES here for their break. Go figure...
We look forward to seeing you in December. We have some great new people so be sure to introduce yourself!

CHUCK JOHNSON Author Profile Page said:
November 11, 2010 11:15 AM

Yea that's ironic & funny Wilma!

Carlita Bronson said:
March 6, 2011 1:01 PM

sounds like it was a much deserved vacation. i have only been on 2 cruises, both to the bahamas-which i love.

i have always wanted to cruise the mediterranean coastline. i'll bet it was incredible being in that region

Leave a comment

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Kim published on November 5, 2010 5:02 PM.

Wine App for Smart Phones was the previous entry in this blog.

The Wacko Harvest of 2010 is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.


This is a blog about what it's really like to be in the wine industry...so sit back, take a sip and enjoy!

about me

our wines

our winery

our events

contact me

privacy statement

favorite posts

A Lifetime in Wine

Top 10 Traits of the Successful Family Winery

The Dreaded Family Meeting

Board Meeting Jitters

Is the Future of the Winery in Danger?

The Case of the Overweight Bottle

Wine and Dementia

Wanted: Talented (Normal) Individual for Family Owned Winery

A Sea of Wine

The Heroes of Our Industry

monthly archives


Hopes & Dreams

Owning a Coastal Cottage

Sailing for 6 Months

Getting a 100 Point Score

Favorite Haunts

Coast of Maine

Dry Creek General Store

Dry Creek Kitchen

Healdsburg Bar & Grill


Sonoma Country Antiques

Baci Cafe & Wine Bar

The Farmhouse

Istanbul's Grand Bazaar

Bad Ass Coffee

Bistro Ralph

Bits of Press

Food & Wine Magazine

The Wine News

Wine Enthusiast

Wine Spectator

Press Democrat

Sunset Magazine

Connoisseurs' Guide

Dan Berger's Vintage Experiences

Cruising World Magazine

Oprah Magazine

The Washington Post

Coastal Living Magazine

Wine & Spirits Magazine

People Magazine

SAG Awards Magazine

Forbes Magazine

Favorite Magazines

Coastal Living

Down East


Country Living

Quarterly Review of Wines

Wines & Vines

Wine Spectator

Wine Enthusiast

California Grapevine

Connoisseurs' Guide

Practical Winery & Vineyard


Vineyard & Winery Mgmt

Blog Buddy List


Hip Tastes

Pinot Blogger

All The Best

Julia Flynn Siler


Winery Web Site Report

The Pour - Eric Asimov

Dr Vino

Steve Heimoff

Start Up Ladies

Good Wine Under $20

Blind Muscat

The Wineroad Blog

Gabe's View

Wine Peeps

Vici Vino

Cellarmistress' Cellar Talk

Uncork Life

WineVine-Imports Blog

The Wine Witch


Honorable Mentions

Wilma Hits The World of Blogs
Most Intriguing New Wine Blogs of 2008
Midwest Wine Guy
Winery of the Month
Julia Flynn Siler
Meritage wines - and a fascinating glimpse into family business
Winery Web Site Report
New Winery Blog: Wilma's Wine World
Start Up Ladies
Insider's View of Family Owned Dry Creek Vineyard
The Glue that Keeps the Whole Thing Going
Atlanta Dish
Blog of the Week
Blind Muscat
The Merits of Meritage
Boston Wine Expo exhibitors, and the reason why winemakers are so darn happy