To Bonnie Lee

Yesterday I attended a memorial service for Bonnie Lee Lewis.
I knew her as Bonnie Lee, a maven of all things wine, but if the mix of people who were there yesterday is any indication, Bonnie was so much more than that.
I met her through Karyn Zoldan, of Circle of Food blog. They were both writing for the Tucson Citizen website. Karyn wrote about food and Bonnie wrote about wine. Their meeting was inevitable.
The thing about Bonnie and wine was that she loved to share her knowledge, not in that snobby wine snob way, but because she loved wine she wanted others to love wine as well. She became friends with Arizona winemakers and was an advocate for the various wine makers in the area.
About two years ago, Bonnie got her dream job, she teamed up with Sam Pillsbury of Pillsbury Vineyards and moved to Willcox, where Sam was opening a tasting room, and Bonnie would run the tasting room in exchange for free rent. She could write on her days off and share her passion for wine on days that the tasting room was open. It was a perfect match for her and for Pillsbury. DSCN1916
Of course, Bonnie, being the kind of person she was, got into the whole scene in the vineyards. She helped with the harvest and plantings and other production activities. She posted the seasonal events. And in her capacity in the tasting room, she made hundreds of friends.
And then the news came that she had cancer. You would never really know that she was going through any problems though. There would be the occasional mention of a trip to Tucson to see a doctor. But really, when she died, many people, including myself were shocked because we never knew how sick she was.
So yesterday’s service was comforting to all of us who knew her. There was plenty of good food,DSCN1909DSCN1910DSCN1906 lots of wine and beautiful testimonials to Bonnie. Sam Pillsbury was there with a wine that he named in her honor, Malvasia Blanco Bonnie Lee. the wine is available on the Pillsbury wines website.
We miss you Bonnie. Salute!DSCN1915