In a highly unusual move, I chose the green over the red and white during a spring visit to the California wine country. The verdant hills reminiscent of Ireland, framed by vivid blue skies made a convincing case to embrace the outdoors instead of hopping from winery to winery for wine tastings and long tours. We’d been to Napa and Sonoma on previous visits to California, and today’s itinerary proved that exploring an area is possible in just under five enjoyable hours. Our time frame allowed for one wine tasting, and we chose a newer winery, Alpha Omega, over a place that was long-established. Two cabs and a red blend later, an order placed for one of each for shipment home, and we were traveling the back roads enjoying the vast stretches of green countryside, quilted in vertical and horizontal stripes of carefully staked grape vines. We stopped at the picturesque Brix Restaurant for lunch and enjoyed the day’s specials on an inviting patio overlooking gardens from where our vegetables grew, with the rolling green hills beyond. The wine country morning could have been a missed opportunity, and was a reminder that when traveling, to take advantage of the small windows of down time and make a memory or two.