Who couldn’t love Florida’s Gulf coast? I can’t even imagine who. It’s just paradise.

Having a job assignment… What cold be better? Although I do have really fond memories of working in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and knowing that I got that “heaven” assignment, too. Hawaii’s on the easy side of the work list. There’s a lot to be said for swaying palms, humidity with a salt air breeze, gorgeous blue skies and tropical flora and fauna.

Day one, at the Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota, the trade tasting… set against a background of turquoise Gulf Stream waters.

I’ve jammed a lot of images into a small space, because I always have a feeling of guilt as images I put into one of my blog postings make anyone scroll down the page forever, so these are just composites of each event, against one of my bird shots…

Day two, the consumer tasting, and The Spirit of the Night Dinner Dance. Jose and I tore up the floor (we were told), but we thankfully don’t have any pictures of that one…

Day three, the Spirit of Giving Grand Brunch & Charity Auction. Vintner images include the following:

  • John and Judie Monnich (Silkwood Wines)  – Upper left
  • Walt and Joan Flowers (Flowers Winery) – Lower left (under Silkwood)
  • Jeff Miller (Artisan Family of Wines) – Center
  • Jose Diaz with Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars winemaker Nicki Pruss
  • Christie and Mike Phillips (Michael~David Winery) – Far right

When it was all complete, we (Oak Knoll’s Greg Lint and Jeff Herinckx, Jose and I) had time to visit with our Longboat Key friends that we had met last year, Lucien and Ada Levy… We watched the sun go down and then had dinner. The next morning Ada, Jose and I had a final beachcombing moment before flying back to San Francisco, after another spectacular Florida Winefest & Auction… 2009.