This is Guermillo (pronounced Ge-er-mo, real name: Bill), his lovely wife Liz & some tall, dark, handsome man who crashed my dinner date with this fabulous couple. Joking! Surely you know that man is my husband. Saturday we went over to their home & had a lovely evening. I made Shrimp Pie which is a great meal for a small crowd & easily portable. They have the most impressive garden. It’s really more like a farm, filled with fig, peach, apple & pear trees, blueberries, raspberries, grape-vines of multiple varieties & veggies galore. Do you see why we were automatically drawn to these folks? Not to mention they are so kind & have a great sense of humor. I am excited to share more pictures of their garden come Summer & Spring when everything is in full force. However, even now when things are dormant & certain veggies are only just starting to germinate, to me their yard is still filled with so much life. A few asparagus making a debut, blooms on the peach tree preparing to make fruit, grape vines “bleeding” from pruning & a rosemary bush large & fragrant like you wouldn’t believe. Liz also has some beautiful tulips growing in the front yard.
We refer to Liz & Guermillo as our adopted North Carolina parents. They let us “grocery shop” in their garden, supplying our kitchen with delicious fresh produce. This summer, because of them, we ate zucchini blossoms for the first time & still have pesto & tomato sauce in the freezer thanks to their green thumbs. Guermillo & Liz have provided us with such great insight on marriage, family & religious faith. It is becoming a tradition that ever so often we catch up at their home for garden tours, wine & general life talk. The conversations have no boundaries. With the homemade wine flowing & a beautiful garden setting I guess we loosen up!
That’s right-they make their own wine. Not just any wine either. Their wine is from the grapes, peaches, pears, apples & figs that they grow themselves. Talk about home-grown & local. I was so pleasantly surprised when I first tried a sip of Guermillo’s “Good Figging Wine” (he has some clever titles). Expecting overly sweet syrup-like wine like most NC wines I have had, I was wrong. Every wine that he has made has been “pearfect.” Even the “sweet wine” is just more fragrant with a natural hint of the certain fruit but not over powering where you don’t know if you are drinking wine or juice. He makes both white & red, sweet & dry. It really is the best! And he is so knowledgeable about the process-start to finish. From growing the grapes to bottling. Did you know in parts of Bordeaux or the wine region of France it is illegal to harvest grapes too early? Even on your own property? Apparently it is easy to mistakenly think a grape is ripe, it looks, smells & tastes ripe, but likely isn’t for another month or so. Letting it sit on the vine until peak at it’s full potential will make for much better tasting wine. Guermillo uses the best practices when making his. He has books filled with notes on tannin, fermenting, dates & procedures. Next time we head over there I am bringing my wine journal I received as a gift a few years ago to take some real notes. Chris and I think he should retire already and open a winery. People would be lining up!