ext_t-1000x400My first night at Arcosanti, I received the happy news that I’d been accepted into a writing residency at The Madrones in Anderson Valley, as part of the Writing Between the Vines residency program. It calmed my anxiety at Arcosanti, knowing that I’d have another chance to be immersed in the book just eight weeks hence. Writing Between the Vines is a fairly new residency program that provides stays for writers at wineries during the off season, and was featured in the March/April 2015 issue of Poets & Writers.

After Spartan accommodations at Arcosanti, The Madrones was considerably more luxe. The Madrones is a wine country compound with four tasting rooms, an exceptional little restaurant and nine guest rooms. The owner Jim Roberts is a designer, which was reflected in the gorgeous spaces. My room was a suite with a mini-kitchen and a private deck overlooking a koi pond and vineyards, and the property manager Cyndee took exceptional care of me.

Anderson Valley is located north of Napa Valley, so the climate is more wet, coastal and foggy, which makes it Pinot Noir country. It’s quiet and tucked away, without all the traffic and commercial enterprise of Napa, and the quality of the wine is outstanding. Toulouse Vineyards was a standout.

This is writer heaven.