We are on our way to Hopland, CA, to play Bocce, enjoy good food and wine, and most of all have fun with our friends. Bocce ball is a very easy game to play and requires very little physical skill and effort to play at the beginning level. A great athlete can be easily humbled in Bocce by a non-athlete playing in their first game. That is what makes this game so fun and exciting to play among a group of friends. Bocce courts are in many recreation centers and parks. But the best place to play Bocce is at a winery. More and more wineries are adding Bocce courts to their grounds and encouraging visitors to play at least a round or two in between sips of wine.
We are making this 5th annual Bocce event into a three day, two-night affair. We will arrive in Hopland on Wednesday, visit a few local wineries and then check into the Hopland Inn. This grand hotel was built in 1890. The hotel has 21 rooms and a beautiful bar and restaurant. Unfortunately, neither the bar nor restaurant is currently open. The hotel had been for sale for a couple of years and was recently purchased. The new owners plan to open the bar and restaurant soon. Dinner both nights will be at the Crushed Grape. The Crushed Grape is part of the Brutocao Winery’s Schoolhouse Plaza complex that is located across the street from the Hopland Inn. The complex includes six beautifully-manicured professional Bocce courts and on Thursday we will be playing our Bocce games there throughout the day.
To make things more competitive, we have each couple put in $20 so we can award prizes to the top three finishers. Each couple also chooses a team name, the only requirement is that the name must be related to wine. Our favorite team name this year is the Library Reserve. Our librarian friend came up with that clever name. One team, the Muscat Ramblers, even has a team song.
We follow the simple the rules of Bocce: “Just roll your ball as close as you can to that little white ball (Pallino).” The most important tool is a tape measure. It is surprising how often it is hard to determine which team ball is closer to the Pallino. The tape measure saves friendships.
If you have a group of friends that like wine and travel well together, organize your own Bocce tournament. Get started here. Next blog post, the details of the 5th Annual WCG Bocce Tournament.