Wine Weekend in Augusta, Day 2: Montelle Winery, Mount Pleasant Estates, Silly Goose, and a Late Night Fire
I was lucky to wake up a bit early, so I headed downstairs with my laptop to work on processing some photos from our first day. I made myself some tea, and sat down with Photoshop for a little bit with the whole house to myself.
Around 8AM, I suddenly remembered that Alan had made cookies yesterday. Cookies which I didn’t remember eating. So I went back to the dining room, and lo and behold…
Cookies! I had a jump start on breakfast.
For our actual breakfast, we had waffle boat with cheesecake filling, strawberries in amaretto, and glazed bacon. All this after a delicious pear starter. Did I mention that Alan used to be a professional cook?
The jigsaw puzzle in the sitting room would pull people back, over the course of our stay.
A minitaature lamp. Must be Italian.
In a nearby yard, Julie showed me something that they had discovered on one of their past trips: an old bicycle that had been taken over by time (and a nearby tree).
Our first stop of the day: Montelle Winery.
A brief view of the interior.
Lining up for our tastings.
We arrived around 11:30 or so, and were fortunate to have missed the super big crowds. Around noon and 1PM, this whole room got incredibly crowded.
Out back there was live music, and lots of tables on the patio. This was a smaller area, past the back patio, with picnic tables set up along the side of the hill.
Looking out over the hill.
In addition to our tasting, several of us opted for some wine slushies. Because we’re fancy like that.
Our second stop: Mount Pleasant Winery. Bob and Julie have a particular story from a prior trip, and as a result… they tend to call this place “Mount Unpleasant.” There was nothing that the winery did wrong, and it had more to do with a rowdy group of college kids who were sitting near them.
One thing about the wineries in the area: it seems that in the past (and perhaps even now), college kids will sometimes descent on the area. Bob said he remembered seeing kids walking down the street, chugging bottles of wine.
Hearing about these large and boisterous crowds was a big reason why we decided to come this weekend, as opposed to later in October.
Liz, perfecting her photo-bombing technique.
One thing about Mount Pleasant: they charged $10 for their tasting, but they had some seriously large pours. Also – they had music outside, but there was an additional $5 fee to actually go out back. We had heard nice things about the view, but weren’t willing to pony up the additional money to go out there.
We found our way back to Augusta Winery, since Katie and Dan hadn’t been there yet. They got two bottles, and we broke out a lot of snacks that we had brought along for the occasion – lots of salami, cheeses, crackers, and things.
In years past, Julie and Bob used to bring along things to eat. And it seemed that the wineries were ok with folks bringing food, and setting up small picnics to stay the day.
Now though, it appears that several places no longer allow food to be brought in (and are selling food themselves).
Looking back, we really should have had some kind of lunch or food earlier than we did. By the time we were at Augusta, it was late afternoon and several of us were feeling the effects of the earlier wine tasting (and the big pours at Mount Pleasant).
At home, Katie and Dan went to try out the pool and hot tub… while the rest of us took a pretty serious afternoon nap.
Per Leigh’s suggestion, we hit up Balducci’s on Friday night (less hectic), and got reservations here for Saturday night.
Interior. I was less taken with my meal (country fried steak), but overall it was a very varied menu. The fried alligator and fried green tomatoes were delicious, the full breadth of what they offered up was quite impressive.
An odd thing: Liz ordered a beer, and it turned out they were out of that one. So she ordered another, and I ordered a beer as well. The waitress then came back and apologized, saying they were out of both those beers as well. We took this as a sign we shouldn’t be drinking, and opted for some soda instead.
Later on, for my meal (and for Bob’s, who got the same thing as me) – we learned that they were out of carrots. Not a huge deal, as we were fine with it. But there were a surprising number of things that they had “run out of” that night.
Our waitress though, was really fantastic and apologetic about everything. So it wasn’t much of an issue, just something I noticed.
Dan noticed a couple fighting near us, and recounted his observations later in the evening. They were pretty intoxicated, and were throwing the f-bomb around a lot, apparently (and within earshot of a family with kids).
While it’s a quaint little town, it seems that it does have its share of people who over-indulge.
Outside the restaurant, looking across the street.
Back home, looking at the fire pit that seemed to be beckoning us.
The whole area is enclosed in a mixture of grape vine and rebar, and done in the shape of a large “pumpkin.”
Inside, the puzzle draws in Julie and Liz yet again.
We found our glasses of port in the kitchen, waiting for us.
Outside, I found that Dan had started up the fire.
The afternoon nap had left Bob more tired than refreshed, so he headed in for an early evening. The rest of us stayed up by the fire, and roasted some marshmallows that Katie had brought along.
We stayed out by the fire for a long while, and didn’t end up going in until right around midnight. Our nap had given us a little more energy, so Liz and I stayed up until around 1AM, eating potato chips and watching cable TV in our little nook. A very lovely end to a very full day.