Warbling to the Wine: Cave Caroling at Saracina

It's a holiday wine to-do with especially amazing acoustics.

Saracina Vineyards

LIKE SINGING TO PLANTS: When's the last time you crooned "Happy Birthday (to You)" or "It Had to Be You" or "Love Me Do" to the fern in the corner of the den? Many people sing to their leafy green shrubs and their flowering beds and the human members of their family and the dog, both to exercise the vocal cords but also to maybe, just maybe, give the fern or Fido or kid a little pick-me-up. After all, studies do show that music is a force for good, something that wends its way into our ear and then, soon after, our brains and hearts, for the better. So could the very same thing happen to wine? It's interesting food -- er, drink -- for thought, and perhaps best pondered in Hopland over the first Saturday in December. Because if you make for Saracina Vineyards, the fact of the matter is you will be engaging in song-makery, via your voice, very near some very fine wines, while you stand inside the atmospheric caves of the property. The caves are pretty on any visit, what with the elegant rows of casks and low lighting and solid walls and subterranean feel, but add some holiday cheer to the mix and you have...

A CAROLING PARTY... that can only take place in wine country. Saturday, Dec. 5 is the date for the afternoon-long affair, one that includes a hayride on the property, as if your day didn't get picturesque enough. What will be cooler, singing to wine in caves or rolling around the hilly landscape of Hopland, which looks as though it sprung from an illustration on the label of a wine bottle? We'll vote both. You don't need to be a great singer, you just need to enjoy classic Christmassy tunes and a day out in a rustic-elegant setting. Cost? It's thirty bucks, and that shall include "wintertime treats and wine" (think s'mores and such). And if you truly don't think of yourself as a top-notch vocalist, take heart; the Ukiah High School Chorus will be on hand to lead the proceedings. Ready to give some wine some oomph via a few high notes? Well, they say it works for ferns. Why shouldn't we try singing to some shiraz or crooning to a cabernet? See you in Saracina, holiday-happy Hopland-going superstars.

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