Valentines at the Lasseter Family Winery
Keeping the romance thriving in a relationship isn’t always easy. We fall into routines, have to get the children to stay in bed, and collapse after work. When Valentine’s Day comes around, it can be a good excuse to spoil your loved one.
In 2016, the Lasseter Family Winery had a Valentine’s Day dinner for Wine Club members. With four children, my husband and I often don’t get out to events, much less anything that’s a three-hour drive away. But a friend offered to babysit and we took advantage of the opportunity.
Full disclosure: Many years ago, when I was a college student, I was the Lasseter’s nanny for a year and a half. At the time they lived in a tiny cottage in Redwood City and had three children. Their playful, loving home made a big impact on my boyfriend (now husband) and me and has shaped how we parent our own children. It was while I was employed there that John and his fellow Pixar founders signed a deal to produce three movies for Disney. The first one was Toy Story. Up to that point, Pixar wasn’t well known outside the animation and advertising industries.
The landscape surrounding the winery was refreshing and soothing. Oaks dotted the flaxen hills and cows munched contentedly in the distance. We drove the winding roads, passing roadside markets and art studios.
Lasseter isn’t on “winery row” with lots of other places. It’s tucked down a rural road, surrounded by rolling hills, like a wonderful secret.
Unlike many wineries that seem to be mimicking the Tuscan look, the Lasseter place feels more like a cool modern farmhouse, a blend of rustic and elegant. The front yard is landscaped in a Napa Valley-style, with dry grasses, a wandering stream, and small trees.
It was charming to saunter around just as dusk was falling. Frogs were croaking, birds were twittering their last songs of the day, and the symphony of crickets began to hum.
Inside, friendly faces, raised wine glasses, and warm lighting greeted us. We wandered around, exploring both inside and out.
Just out the side door was a bright metal silo, the kind used on farms for grain. A door cut into it led us to a cozy seating area, custom built to the rounded shape of the silo.
After mingling for a bit and meeting some new people, we were ushered down the stairs into the barrel room. The space was fascinating. Huge barrels lined the walls on racks. A single long table ran down the center of the room, lavishly decorated to set a romantic mood.
The staff had worked hard to transform the barrel room for dinner. It was an amazing setting. The lighting was soft and the whole room took on an elegant, romantic air.
Needless to say the food and wine were delicious. It was great to meet a wide variety of people, including animators from Disney, a non-profit director, several artists and two bankers. John Lasseter and his wife Nancy were there to greet and talk with everyone, which was fun.
Although wine was poured liberally and was delicious, knowing we had a long drive ahead of us, we just tasted a bit and bought several bottles to take home. After enjoying the gourmet dinner and mouthwatering chocolate dessert, we said our goodbyes and ducked out early for the three-plus hour drive back to the foothills.
My husband and I had a wonderful, child-free, time and it was fun to explore a modern winery. Combined with a delectable meal, good company, and excellent wine, it was the perfect evening.
I highly recommend the Lasseter Wine Club. Events like these are often offered to Wine Club members and occasionally to the general public. In addition, curated bottles of wine are delivered every month to your doorstep!
Professionally edited by Molly Fisk.