WOAD - harp duo of Deborah Bennett and Maggie Pinckard: Millennium Wine Harpers of Northern California



From: Deborah Bennett
Date: Thu, 14 Nov 2002 01:45:45 -0500
Subject: [MillenniumHarpers] Quest Ended: Last Winery (#26)

Hi All -
Sunday we played at the last stop on the Quest. On the one hand we are glad to take a rest from the project...on the other hand it hardly seems possible that it is over!

When we declared our Quest in March, we thought we *might* be able to manage 25 wineries by the end of December. When we actually got underway in June we thought that (given our respective schedules) we would be *awfully lucky* to manage the 25 wineries by the end of December. And now, mid-November, we look in amazement at the fact that we *have* managed 25 wineries...26 in fact, and in a space of 51/2 months.

Will wonders never cease. See more at www.woadharps.com

November 10 - Winery #26: J. Lohr (Santa Clara County)

This one was very local. In fact, it seemed very odd to find a tasting room /winery tucked away in an older residential area of the city, among the Victorian bungalows, elementary school, and so on. This visit was originally scheduled for early October, but they were remodeling the tasting room and wanted to wait. By Sunday the area was done except for details, and that was where they suggested we set up. (Acoustically it was "live", since it was essentially an empty alcove with marble floors...lots of hard surfaces for the sound to bounce off of!)

This turned out to be one of the "routine" stops - nothing really remarkable about it. We played for an hour and a half rather than our usual hour, because just as we were finishing someone arrived who took an active interest in the harps (he was a pianist himself) and we played a few more tunes for him. Since the winery was local, I had told a few interested friends that we would be there, and a couple of them showed up. Our friend Michael, who is our "occasional roadie", also showed up which was nice as he is a great help in schlepping harps and equipment.

Anyway. We played. We tasted. The only odd bit was that the tasting room staff seemed unusually distant. Mostly people have been quite friendly, and even if they have not wanted to chat much (because the tasting room was very busy, for example) have been pleasant. Maybe the staff here were having an off day, I don't know. But it felt a bit peculiar.

Afterward Maggie and Michael and I went out to dinner to celebrate both the end of the Quest and my birthday (Yes, two celebrations for the price of one! Hurry - supplies are limited!).

And that was that. A quiet sort of ending.

We're still mulling over what we've learned from the experience. I'll try and post a little addendum later when we have reflected on it all a bit more. But we still have a few loose ends to tie up....*and* make the HarpQuest t-shirts (with all the wineries listed on the back, of course!)

[Deborah and Maggie subsequently promised and delivered paper documentation, and a promise to pull it together onto a website presentation. This remains a work in progress. JL 1-20-09]

Cheers -

Deborah & Maggie

[Original declaration, March 2002:]

Millennium Wine Harpers of Northern California

We, Deborah Bennett and Maggie Pinckard, the wild Woad women, do hereby declare our intent to undertake a Millennium Harp Quest in this palindromic year, 2002.

It is our intention to play at a minimum of 25 wineries in the Greater San Francisco Bay Area, which is the counties of: San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Contra Costa, Alameda, Marin, Napa, Sonoma, and Solano.

We will document the quest by having a certificate signed, dated, and witnessed at each winery, and by taking pictures of ourselves at each location. Purchasing a bottle of wine at each establishment as further documentation is optional.

Our purpose in undertaking this quest is twofold:

First, we wish by this to thank the California winemakers, whose products we have enjoyed on many occasions, and by our music to bless the grapes and the wines for this year. Please note that if this should turn out to be a year of poor harvest and inferior wine do not blame us; rather, think how much worse it could have been had the vineyards *not* been graced by harps.

Second, while we have few qualms about playing in public, what gives us the willies is promotion and marketing, and all that entails. We have managed to successfully avoid any of it for at least two years now, and have decided it is High Time we got over it. In order to successfully complete this quest we will need to put together promotional materials, brochures, photos, sample CDs, contact lists, etc. *And* make the contacts, set up playing dates, and so on and so forth.

Upon successful completion of the quest, we will claim for ourselves the title of Millennium Wine Harpers of Northern California. We promise we will not call ourselves the Millennium Wino Harpers in public.

Stated this, the 3rd day of March, 2002 Deborah Bennett & Maggie Pinckard Woad www.woadharps.com