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Dancing around the oak at The Inspiration Station

Awen Winecraft opens the winsome, green gate into its new wine garden and tasting room, The Inspiration Station, Saturday, Feb. 20. Nestled next to McCully House Inn in Jacksonville, the space features not just the charm of a waterfall fountain and view to the stars, but fire pits, pyramid heaters, light fare, several choices of award-winning wines, and quite possibly music.

The owners and winemakers, Tom Homewood and Sean Hopkins, are both musicians, so it’s likely there will be a guitar or two nearby for those spontaneous moments of inspiration when the spirit moves you.

Awen has been doing this for almost two decades. Not just making music, but creating wine and winning awards. Their latest are from the invitation only Best of the Best Northwest where they picked up two platinums, a double gold and a gold. You could say they are troubadours of fine wine.

Basking in the winter sunlight as it streams through the large windows of the tasting room, Tom says, “handcrafted wine and the creativity of music is the theme of what we do.” Rainbow prisms dance across the tabletop, his arms and face as he talks.

The name Awen comes from the Druid symbol of creativity and inspiration. The Awen is the flowing spirit, the spirit energy in flow is the essence of life. The Awen is the core, the heart from which everything flows, inspiring truth.

In Vino Veritas — “In wine, there is truth” — wrote Pliny the Elder in 77CE. The Druids revered the ancient oak groves, with a sacred oak being like a muse. This rings true with Awen.

“Everything we make touches oak in some fashion,” says Sean. “Not necessarily for flavor, but for texture.”

All of this is reflected in the wine, the tasting room and the wine garden. Inside are two long tables made from a large slab of birdseye maple — a donation from the Chico Historical Society to a wood crafter who lost everything in the Paradise fire. Awen hired him to build the tables, and there was so much wood he was able to make all the shelves and some trays. The surprise on delivery was the natural shape of the tables which, when fitted back together, compose the shape of a guitar head. Serendipity.

The centerpiece wall decor is an oak barrel top with their logo in LED lights that pulsate with the music. With the release of their 2018 Dolcetto at The Inspiration Station, I foresee being able to raise a glass and dance in a ring around an old oak. It may not be sacred, but if the owners of Awen Winecraft have their say, it will certainly be magical.

Awen Winecraft is open from 3 to 9 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday; noon to 9 p.m. weekends; at 240 E. California St., Jacksonville; 541-702-2164; AwenWinecraft.com; @awenwinecraft.

Reach Paula Bandy at pbthegrapevine@gmail.com and see connect with her on Instagram at @pbthroughthegrapevine.