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Feb 12th
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Vine Time at The Winery

The Beats Go On At Mountain Winery

I had a Falcon Crest flashback as my friend and I drove up the scenic windy road leading us to Saratoga’s Mountain Winery last weekend. All those vines. All the grapes. All that wine. Fortunately, the only thing dramatic that night was the view—well that, and the stellar B-52’s show we experienced in the venue’s remarkable outdoor theater. And, as concerts go, this could not have been a better setting.

Weaving together some of the finest elements—nature, wine, terrific food, music—Mountain Winery has a lovely thing going here. This place has been producing wines for more than 100 years after Paul Masson purchased the Saratoga property and began planting away. It was a booming success by the time signature Chardonays became the thing around 1936, when the winery was acquired by Martin Ray. These days, the winery offers the finest reserves and its “California Series” wines.

Beyond the wine, though, are the other striking if not memorable ingredients that make up the winery’s distinct offering—from its dynamic restaurant overlooking urban San Jose and its surrounding areas to its signature wine club, ideal wedding locale and host for other events, this is one hot ticket.

Which brings us back to the music. Saturday’s B-52’s show was rockin’, wild party. And success hasn’t spoiled alt-rock’s über band one bit. With more than 20 years of touring and basking in the limelight, the B-52’s sound remarkably fresh, clear and downright with-it—technically, musically and everywhere else that counts. In other words, its spunk is still there living and breathing and havin’ a ball in all the musical numbers that helped launch their celebrity: “Roam,” “Rock Lobster.”

Perched up on stage in front of the winery’s iconic steepled building, The B-52’s—Kate Pierson, Fred Schneider, Cindy Wilson, Keith Strickland—grooved underneath a starry-sky and a dynamic lightshow. The band’s distinct musical style and dynamic vocals stood out in high-energy show that kept its audience on its feet the majority of the time the music played. A bit short and sweet—I’m certain the audience would have been jazzed to experience the band for another hour—the show was downright memorable nevertheless.

But memorable gigs are what Mountain Winery seems to be offering in a summer concert series fueled with powerhouse performers.  A quick scan of the upcoming shows and you’ll find a creative smorgasbord: Jewel, Macy Gray, Burt Bacharach, Lucinda Williams, Diana Krall, Medeski, Martin & Wood, and more.

This venue not only offers and ideal locale—it’s only about 30 minutes from Santa Cruz—it certainly boasts some amazing talent. Here’s a quick overview of some of the upcoming performers heading to Mountain Winery. Cheers.

For more information on Mountain Winery, and for concert tickets, visit www.mountainwinery.com, or call 408-741-2822.

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Heart Me Up

In defense of Valentine’s Day

 

“be(ing) of love (a little) more careful”—e.e. cummings

Wednesday (Feb. 10) is Ash Wednesday, when Lent begins. Friday (Feb. 12) is Lincoln’s 207th birthday. Sunday is Valentine’s Day. On Ash Wednesday, with foreheads marked with a cross of ashes, we hear the words, “From dust thou art and unto dust thou shalt return.” Reminding us that our bodies, made of matter, will remain here on Earth when we are called back. It is our Soul that will take us home again. Lent offers us 40 days and nights of purification in preparation for the Resurrection (Easter) festival (an initiation) and for the Three Spring Festivals (at the time of the full moon)—Aries, Taurus, Gemini. The New Group of World Servers have been preparing since Winter Solstice. The number 40 is significant. The Christ (Pisces World Teacher) was in the desert for 40 days and 40 nights prior to His three-year ministry. The purpose of this desert exile was to prepare his Archangel (light) body to withstand the pressures of the Earth plane (form and matter). We, too, in our intentional purifications and prayers during the 40 days of Lent, prepare ourselves (physical body, emotions, lower mind) to receive and be able to withstand the irradiation of will, love/wisdom and light streaming into the Earth at spring equinox, Easter, and the Three Spiritual Festivals. What is Lent? The Anglo-Saxon word, lencten, comes from an ancient spring festival, agricultural rites marking the transition between winter and summer. The seasons reflect changes in nature (physical world) and humanity responds with social festivals of gratitude and of renewal. There is a purification process, prayerfulness in nature and in humanity in preparation for a great flow of spiritual energies during springtime. Valentine’s Day: Aquarius Sun, Taurus moon. Let us offer gifts of comfort, ease, harmony, beauty and satisfaction. Things chocolate and golden. Venus and Taurus things.

 

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