Early this morning we checked into our wonderful new hotel, then drove to the Santa Barbara Club where we met our old high school friend Susan and boarded a bus for a visit to Kick On Ranch, the home of the Santa Ynez Valley Hounds. After tasting reislings and pinot noirs from local vintners made from Kick On Ranch grapes, we were treated to a show of the hounds. About 70 English and French hounds approached us accompanied by the Huntsman and the Kennel Huntsman on horseback and the Whipper-In, on foot. The dogs were kept in line and to the business at hand by the huntsmen and the whipper-in, but when they were released to frolic, all hell broke loose.
Here we are reveling in our new digs!
These are pinot noir grapes; they’re tiny, very sweet (by comparison, table grapes are much less sweet than these wine grapes) and covered with netting to keep the birds from destroying the crop.
Here come the hounds with the huntsmen and whippers-in.
The whipper-in and the hounds, all tails pointing up.
Finally, the hounds are released to play and mob the visitors!