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Jeffrey Byrnes Photographer Fashion + Portraits + Travel

Unexpected Gem: Amherst Farm Winery

Mother's Day, this past Sunday was nice. I sat with my mother and brother for lunch after a new mommy and daddy came to the studio for a portrait session. Over the last 9 months I have photographed the expected mother once a month for a progression series. On Sunday she came in with the new baby. It was a beautiful morning and early afternoon. It was the beginning of a great day in general. A short time after my lunch ended I made my way to my girlfriend's place. Needing to do an errand in Hadley, we made our way up. The afternoon was welcomed and well received. It was once of the nicest days we have had weather wise in a very long time. Soft white clouds filled the sharp blue sky. It was warm, mid 80s. But not hot. The soft breeze was pleasant. I stopped a few times to make a few landscape shots. Pictured in the gallery below. It was such a great day, I wanted to capture the essence of what we were being given. We arrived at our destination, did what we needed to, and set out to find a means to enjoy being outside. Before long we found we had plans to enjoy the rest of the afternoon at the Quabin Reservoir. After a stop for water, coffee, and a snack, we were on our way. Moments after we pulled out of the gas station we passed a sign, "Wine Tasting 12-6" Me, "Want to go." Her, "Absolutely." We turned around and made our way back. Exiting the car and walking towards the door we were greeted by a hello and how are you. We didnt know it at the time, but the woman greeting us from the front porch with her little baby was Audrey Samek, the owner of Amherst Farm Winery. We were greeted a second time by Craig McNichol. Craig introduced us to the atmosphere, gave us a tour, and explained the Winery in detail. From a list of 15 wines, we were allowed to sample 5 each. The choices of wine we selected were subtle and provided a unique and distinct taste. Each sample teased the palate and provided a multi-sensory delight that was better than the previous tastings. After we had our samples, we proceeded to take a bottle out on to their patio, which cleverly is shaped like a wine barrel, and enjoy the late afternoon sun. As we sat, basking in the sun, talking and laughing, Craig surprised us with a fresh loaf of bread topped with sea salt, herbs and fresh garlic. Just out of the oven, on a warm plate surrounded by a drizzle of vinaigrette, we were presented with an appetizer that further enhanced the already gracious hospitality. Realizing that we discovered a rare moment on a great day, we sat with pleasant smiles and enjoyed the wine and fresh baked bread. Following our enjoyment, we proceeded to say good bye and take with us the wine we purchased. What started out as a simple thank you and good bye turned into a great conversation and an intimate view of hospitality and social responsibility. Audrey and Craig provided us with an experience and completed out day. I strongly recommend an afternoon or evening at the Amherst Farm Winery.[gallery columns="4"]