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Sitelines at Tres Sabores was splendor in the vines

Sitelines at Tres Sabores was a delicious midsummer night’s dream. Promoted by Julie Johnson and her husband Jon Engelskirger, this year’s event was their second annual (if indeed this is to be an annual event). If it is and you love the arts, you don’t want to miss it next year. I did overhear someone say that this was her second year, and that last year they were about 40 people total. I also overheard someone else say that there were 103 places set at the table, a true sign of successful growth. Clearly, there are enough of us to appreciate what Julie and Jon are doing.

Magic… purely magical. Arriving just a bit early, it gave me a chance to become one with my camera. It’s been a while since I’ve attended an event and it’s not one of my own. When I’m under that kind of pressure, I shoot images very differently. I miss most subtleties, the ones that capture my own spirit connections. On this past Saturday evening, though, the world according to Tres Sabores Winery and all that it had to offer was my oyster’s pearl.

From a Facebook post from Lori: If you don’t already have plans on August 10, I highly recommend you consider making reservations for the Project B event at Tres Sabores Winery that evening. Jeff and I attended the inaugural performance last year and were totally “wow’d” by the experience. EVERYTHING — the food, wine, setting, and, of course, the dance — was spectacular. Can’t wait for the magic to unfold again in the vineyards!!

This was Jose and my Saturday evening event on August 10. From farm, to table, to dinner, and to dance performance under the stars… Julie Johnson of Tres Sabores Winery surely knows how to put on a delightfully artistic party… She called in so many experts to make sure that this night demonstrated her inner beauty. I adore Julie. Part of it is that we were living in Maine together – but separately -at one point in time. She was simultaneously also going to Bowdoin College at the time, as was my Jose… We were all living separately, not knowing that one day we’d all collide in wine country. But we have, and that’s another story, deeply connected to PS I Love You.

This story is about Julie and Jon’s greatest and most recent success… Tanya Bello’s Project.B called Sitelines, at their Tres Sabores Winery.

Our reception from 6:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. was at the Wedding Tree location. People gathered, enjoying lovely Tres Sabores Rosé. I got to meet two of Julie’s grammar school friends… Yeah, she’s got great ties to her past, and I was wishing that I could spend more time with them. As we were talking, one by one I noticed dancers quietly emerging, walking among us, and I had to let the getting-to-know-you-better go. Silence quietly fell upon the group, as each dancer swayed this way and that; taking a center stage, where there was no center. The center was from within, and without their quiet footsteps on the earth all would have been silent… Music appeared and they swayed with more meaning and direction. Here, and there, and everywhere, they danced amid all of us. They gathered at appointed locations, then came back to entwine our souls. Magic in the vines, as Lori above mentioned.

By now it was 6:45 p.m., and we were all asked to enjoy the dinner seating at their “Vineyard Lane.” We had all seen it earlier, as we enjoyed walking around their vineyard property, so we moved toward the tables so beautifully decorated on everyone’s behalf.  Chef for the evening was Sean Baker of Gather in Berkeley. Recently featured in a William-Sonoma interview, I could just let you read about how fabulous he is from the interview, but I’m going to do my own thing on my next blog posting, because I owe him a serious debt of gratitude.

After dinner, we all headed toward the Bench Land Vineyard, and then progressed to Cabernet Hill,  the Heritage Blue Oak, and then to their Crush Pad to enjoy more performance by Project. B. Choreographer Tanya Bello was the artistic director for these performances. Lighting designer was Kevin Connaughton, Dancers were Vilte Bacinkaite, Tristan Ching, Kelly Del Rosario, Norma Fong, Elizabeth Heenan, Chin-chin Hsu, Mei-ling Murray, and atherine Wells. Music was provided by Hilary Hahn and Haushka; and Jesse Solomon Clark. Poetry was provided by Pablo Neruda and recited by dancers Norma Fong and Kelly Del Rosario. Costoume desgina nd construciton: Jamielyn Duggan. Set design and construction: Miguel Garcia…

Chef Sean Baker’s dinner is my upcoming story called, “Chef Sean Baker of Gather in Berkeley Scores Deliciously.” If you think you’ve seen a great farm menu, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet….

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