Over Thanksgiving, I traveled to California to visit my sister and maid of honor, Jenny.
We had an amazing time enjoying Thanksgiving with friends and their families, hiking the coast at Point Reyes, visiting wineries in Russian River, exploring small towns, running through vineyards, and enjoying the sunshine with bike rides and picnics in Sonoma.
Jenny relocated to California in 2007 when she decided to pursue her master’s degree in viniculture and enology. I know—what a mouth full!—but to sum it up, she makes wine, and really delicious wine, at that. The vacation was a much-needed break for the two of us; relaxing and clearing our minds a bit, catching up, and just being sisters. Eventually, though, we had a little business to take care of, because Jenny is graciously making our wedding-toast wine.
The idea came about after sampling several of her “experimental” wines over the past few years. She would take left over grapes from the season’s harvest and compile them into a tasty rose or blended red. This past summer, she produced a wedding-toast wine for her friend’s wedding. I helped design the label for the wine bottles, and it made me realize that this would be amazing for our wedding, too! Jenny’s friend’s approach to their wedding was to ask as many talented friends to provide something for their celebration in substitution for a gift, whether it be wine, desserts, photos, or music. Eric and I also want to incorporate this idea as much as possible, while still allowing friends and family to enjoy the day as a guest.
Thankfully, when I approached Jenny about making our toast wine, she agreed, and thankfully, a neighboring winery had excess amounts of Zinfandel grapes this harvest. (And California zinfandels are one of my favorite wines too—how perfectly convenient!) Jenny has been sending me updates on the wine’s status, and experimenting with oak trials and other unconditional techniques not typically used at her winery. And over my visit, I got to taste the wine and bring a small sample home to share with Eric.
The time and effort that she’s investing in our toast wine is a testament of her love for Eric and I, and of course, her love of wine! In all truthfulness, I’m honored to have such a wonderful sister, maid of honor, and wine maker. She is going to make one heck of a toast and wine on our wedding day.
Did you have family or friends make something specifically for your wedding? Did you have someone you know provide a service for the Big Day (like music, photos, or an officiant)?