You get in a van with five or six other people at 9am. The van is brand new but the dashboard has an analog clock. As far as you know in your groggy, caffeine-deprived state, your destination is somewhere off Exit 17 of I-87. You’re not entirely sure because the website for Bashakill Wineyard still uses Mapquest.
After a few inevitable stops you arrive around noon-thirty. Nobody else is there and your party has the choice of tables to spread out the food everyone has brought. Liberties are taken arranging them around woodstoves. You all participate in the $4 tasting, with bonus wineglass. If you stick around long enough you can even take home an overlooked wineglass or four.
You cross the narrow road and spend an hour or two on the trails along the Bashakill. You’re greeted on your return by the live music that starts every Saturday at two. At three there’s a tour of the wine cave which isn’t so much of a tour since the entire cave is about as big as a conference room. A conference room full of oak barrels with a knowledgeable, heavy-lidded man explaining the minutiae of wine production.
For no reason other than it seems entirely appropriate there are horses. Lots of them. You admire the horses. They are stalwart companions of their riders. You may have stepped in their shit on your hike. Several hours and bottles of wine later you and your friends have all shared your food — venison cheese dip and highly noisome cheese and salt & vinegar chips — and several bottles of wine stand empty. The mood is high. The wine was delicious. You pile back into the van, not necessarily taking the seat you had before, and someone pilots you toward home. The mood is high. The sun is setting. Maybe the weekend has just begun.