A PERFECT SUMMER PICNIC
It’s summer and what better time than now to enjoy dining alfresco? On our recent trip to Paso Robles Wine Country my girlfriend Lisa was in charge of providing lunch midway through our day of wine tasting.
But before our picnic lunch was served we had a great time in the winery. J Dusi is Janell Dusi, part of a grape growing and winemaking family that dates back to the early 1920’s when her great-grandfather brought his old world Italian style of winemaking to Paso Robles, California. Born and raised on the Dusi vineyard, Janell takes great pride in keeping alive the family’s 80 year old farming practices, while at the same time blending those traditions with progress. She and her family are intimately involved in every step of the process: from working in the vineyards, to driving the tractors, to handpicking and then crushing the grapes, to fermenting the juice. From the bins in the fields, to the barrels in the winery, to the bottles in the cellar, their unique, hand-crafted wine is as Janell says, ” Part science, part art and 100% passion.”
Both farmers and winemakers, the Dusi family has partnered together to honor their family’s legacy and continue the Dusi family winemaking traditions. We could feel the passion from Janell’s cousin who served us the wine, and from her sister-in-law who enthusiastically gave us an explanation of each wine we tasted. While we did not meet Janell, we were made to feel like part of the family by her mom that brought out delicious salted caramel chocolates in honor of my birthday.
She also served us this lovely tray of small bites that included homemade herb roasted nuts and delicious home grown and dried persimmons.
It was truly a delight and an honor to taste the fruits of this family’s labors. We purchased some of their ice cold Pinot Grigio and stepped outside to the lovely garden and picnic area where Lisa had snuck away early to set up our picnic lunch.
Furthering the family involvement, Janell’s brother was responsible for creating this outdoor oasis, complete with chandeliers hanging from the stately old oak trees.
What a surprise and a delight it was to arrive to find this perfectly-perfect picnic awaiting us.
Lisa had prepared wire picnic baskets for each couple and identified whose was whose with little clip-on chalkboards.
Having thought of absolutely everything, Lisa even provided us with individual picnic blankets.
We enjoyed delicious Caprese sandwiches on Ciabatta rolls, all wrapped up in parchment paper and tied in brown twine.
Cellophane bags were filled with cherries…
and homemade Orzo Salad was housed in Chinese take-out boxes, also with chalkboard labels.
And as the sign indicated, the best part was the desert. Lisa had made both lemon meringue and chocolate pudding for dessert and served them in individual mason jars.
We could not have asked for a more delightful and memorable afternoon.
Click on Links Below for Picnic Resources:
- Wire Farmhouse Baskets – $7.99 World Market
- Parchment Hemstitch Placemat – $19.96 Set of 4 World Market
- Kerr Half Pint Wide Mouth Mason Jars – $17.88 Set of 12 World Market
- Black Ticking Stripe Woven Ribbon – $3.99 World Market
- Premium White Plastic Square Dinner Plates – $8.99 Set of 10 Party City
- Formal White Plastic Cutlery – $4.99 Set of 20 Party City
- White Chinese Takeout Boxes – $9.99 Set of 12 Party City
- Jumbo Chalkboard Clothespins – $4.99 Set of 7 Michael’s
- White Framed Chalkboard Sign on Easel – $9.99 Hobby Lobby
- Chalkboard Stickers – $.99 Hobby Lobby
- Polka Dot/Cellophane Treat Bags – Hobby Lobby
- Gray Felt Blanket Throws – $3.99 IKEA
So there you have it: A PERFECT SUMMER PICNIC
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