The first chapter of Carolyn Dismuke’s new nonfiction book outlines her departure from San Francisco, where she left her studio apartment behind to embark on an ambitious road trip across California. Over the next 25 months, Dismuke lived out of the suitcases she was able to fit in her convertible.
“I’d only planned to be a vineyard vagabond for a year, so I got a tenant to sign a 12-month lease and put all my stuff in storage,” said Dismuke, who stayed in more than 20 cities during her extended trek to explore California’s various wine regions.
“I spent a month at a time at each location with a few exceptions,” said the author, whose 300-plus page book, Drink Your Wordschronicles her two-year journey across the state, stopping in Paso Robles, San Luis Obispo, Santa Ynez, Los Olivos, and other wine country hot spots on the Central Coast along the way.
Drink Your Words was released in April and was recently announced as a nonfiction finalist in the 2022 Next Generation Indie Book Awards program. On July 29, Dismuke will be signing copies of her book de ella at Sea Shell Cellars, one of her favorite tasting rooms in Paso Robles to enjoy a glass of rosé.
“Their [Sea Shell Cellars’] rosé is amazingly well crafted out of grenache grapes and designed to stand up to any meaty meal with a chilled crisp finish that summer demands,” Dismuke said.
The author highlights several San Luis Obispo County vintners in her new book, including Graveyard Vineyards in San Miguel, Rotta Winery in Templeton, Autry Cellars in Edna Valley, and Talley Vineyards in Arroyo Grande.
On July 30, Dismuke will travel to Buellton for a book signing event at the Hitching Post II, one of the many Santa Barbara County venues she frequented during her two-year wine tour.
“Gray Hartley and Frank Ostini from the Hitching Post told such entertaining stories that I retold in the book,” Dismuke said of the local staple’s owners. “They remain endearing connections.”
Dismuke currently lives in Paso Robles, where she continues to document her wine tasting adventures across the Central Coast and beyond through a blog on her website. The author originally recorded details from her two-year road trip de ella as blog entries, before her work de ella on Drink Your Words began.
“The blog was an afterthought because winemakers I’d interview would ask me where I came from and where I was heading next. So, it became a way for them to follow and suggest other regions as the journey evolved,” Dismuke said. “When I sat down to write the book, I used the blog posts as content to weave the themes, character development, and stories together.”
Dismuke said that her favorite time of day to write is usually in the afternoon or evening, and explained why she isn’t always a morning person.
“Most writers say early morning is best because your mind is still in that subconscious state from dreaming… I’ll awaken to jot something down if it’s been percolating in my slumber. But I do my best writing in the late afternoon and night ,” Dismuke said. “When I’m really in that zone, I’ll write until 2 or 3 am and then be no good in the morning.” Δ
Jot something down for Calendar Editor Caleb Wiseblood at firstname.lastname@example.org.