A little love story

There’s a winery just outside the small town of Yountville in Napa called Domaine Chandon. You’ve probably heard of it, if only because you can find their sparkling wines all over the country. Unsurprisingly, their tasting room is always packed, filled with visitors seeking to enjoy a glass of bubbly while seated on a patio shaded by a beautiful oak tree that’s probably a century old. Even more surprising, however, is that this particular winery is one of Joe’s and my favorite places to visit when we’re in the area. Because if you walk just beyond that patio filled with the birthday and bachelorette parties, up a small hill, and over a crest, you’re greeted to a green lawn that’s dotted with large boulders and a gorgeous prospect: the valley’s mountains in the distance; the property’s vines just below.

Over the years, one boulder in particular has become “our rock.” We escape the hoards in the tasting room and perch ourselves on this rock, which has always seemed like it was made and placed just so to fit the two of us. With countless bottles of wine, we’d sit and talk about our dreams for the future, our goals, our fears, our hopes, but above all, how all of these things involved the other person. Two Saturdays ago, on January 14, I was pleased as punch to sit atop our rock and discuss our future as a married couple. You see, the day before, Joe had proposed.

Years earlier, before we were even able to legally purchase a bottle of Domaine Chandon wine, Joe and I met while walking to a college football game. It was Labor Day weekend, 2002, and we had both started college just a few weeks prior. I won’t lie: it was not immediately apparent that this would be my future husband. But after seeing each other around the dorm which we both lived in, sitting next to each other in business classes, and eventually, going on our first date in November of that year (lunch, and it was at a Subway), we were smitten.

Nine years, two months, and nine days later, he asked me to marry him, at home, in our sun-filled living room, with no one else around. It was private, and perfect. Simple. Heartfelt. He’d spent the last month working with a Manhattan-based jeweler to personally design my engagement ring. I don’t think I can really describe how much this means to me.

Immediately after he proposed and I dried my eyes and we made a few phone calls, he whisked me off to Yountville, to beautiful dinners and champagne breakfasts, to lots of wine and walks down memory lane, and to our rock.

Which is perfect, because he is mine.

Leave a Comment


  1. 1.23.12
    Chelsea said:

    Congratulations again you lucky gal. I am so happy for you. The ring is stunning, as are you and I had the best time rooming with you at Alt. I can’t wait to hear from you soon. I am very curious about how “the talk” went! xo

  2. 1.23.12
    Gabrielle | Savvy Home said:

    Aww you just made me cry a little bit! Such a sweet story! Congrats again to the two of you, I couldn’t be happier for you both!! X

  3. 1.23.12
    jeff k said:

    just amazing

  4. 1.23.12

    So incredibly sweet!

  5. 1.23.12

    Misted up reading this– so sweet! And looks like a perfect place to have as “yours” :)

  6. 1.23.12

    Awww, congratulations Victoria! Such happy news and a beautiful engagement story. I have to say…I’m SO curious to see a picture of Joe, but I’m guessing he’s a private kinda guy!

  7. 1.23.12

    so perfect.

  8. 1.23.12

    Sitting at my computer crying. I am so happy for you both. It is the most special experience, isnt it? So excited for you!!!!

  9. 1.23.12
    Eileen said:

    Ahhhh congrats Victoria!! So excited for you, and how sweet for him to design your ring, can’t wait to see pics!!


  10. 1.23.12

    Congrats to you both! oh, what a beautiful bride you will be Victoria!!!



  11. 1.23.12
    Molly said:

    Got teary eyed reading this! You two are going to have such a beautiful future… So glad I got to celebrate this exciting time with you while in Salt Lake. Kisses!

  12. 1.23.12

    I love this post!! What a wonderfully written, gorgeous story. So happy for you both :)

  13. 1.23.12

    So, so sweet. Can’t think of a better way to celebrate. Thanks for sharing with us!

  14. 1.23.12
    Anna H. said:

    This is such a beautiful post – and the proposal sounds like he knew exactly what would be most meaningful to both of you. Congratulations, and I can’t wait to read about what the next chapter in your lives brings!

  15. 1.23.12

    Yay! This story is adorable, and perfect, and you and is making me tear up! I can’t wait to chat more about it! Glad you are home safe from ALT.

  16. 1.23.12

    This post just gave me the chills. So happy for you two! I love the “rock” in this little love story and how significant it is in your relationship. Yay to big days ahead!

  17. 1.23.12
    Christine B. said:

    What a lovely “love story.” Thanks for sharing :) And as everyone else admitted, my eyes got a little misty as I read. Wishing you both all the best!

  18. 1.23.12

    Oh my gosh, congrats! Such a sweet, sweet story! Thanks for sharing!

  19. 1.23.12

    Oh, what a romantic story! Congratulations to you both and may the rest of your life together be as special and sweet as this weekend.

  20. 1.23.12

    Congratulations! What a lovely post, enjoy being engaged. It can be stressful but its an exciting time to go through!

  21. 1.23.12

    Such a beautiful written piece Victoria. Thank you for sharing this story with us!
    Jeramie and I chose the Napa/Sonoma Valley area to be married in last year for a reason – it is one of the most romantic, charming and beautiful places on earth. I love that you and Joe have found your own place away from the norm and crowds. So stinkin’ sweet!

    XO – Marion

  22. 1.23.12
    pretty pink tulips said:

    I popped over to check out your blogging tips and then realized that I was reading your engagement story!!! What a beautiful proposal, and like you said, heartfelt. I’ll be thinking of you the next time I sip a glass of Domaine Chandon….and since I’m a champagne girl, that will be soon!

    Congratulations and best wishes for an amazing year & life ahead.
    xo Elizabeth

  23. 1.23.12

    Such a wonderful engagement story! Sounds like it was so personal and heartfelt. What a great catch :)

  24. 1.23.12
    Ashley said:

    Amazing. A private proposal is the way to go. So much more intimate =)

  25. 1.23.12

    congratulations on your engagement!! what an exciting time in life. loved meeting you at alt and look forward to hearing about all the plans! xoxo

  26. 1.23.12

    I just teared up! You are such a beautiful writer. The scene sounds absolutely positively perfect and I am SO happy for you!!!

  27. 1.23.12
    viv said:

    Your love story made me tear up! Such a perfect scenario. I’m so happy for you and wish you both a lifetime of love together!

  28. 1.23.12

    :’) congratulations, victoria! looking forward to your engagement & wedding planning posts soon to come.

  29. 1.23.12

    Tear. So lovely. Adored the photos, the story and the sentiment. Congratulations again. Now it’s time for the fun stuff… wedding planning!

  30. 1.23.12
    Cyndi said:

    Beautiful story…and the characters are so genuine, too! ;-)

  31. 1.23.12

    Congrats lady! Such an amazing, beautiful love story – got goosebumps and watery eyes while reading.

  32. 1.23.12
    Traci said:

    Wow congrats. That is just so wonderful. My boyfriend and I fell in love with Domain Chandon when we were out there and joined the wine club. I look forward to every package we get and we make sure to put aside some time to enjoy the wine and each other. Now I can’t wait to hear all about the WEDDING planning. I’d love for you to check out my blog it has a little twist on weddings from the perspective of a bridesmaid;)


  33. 1.23.12

    What a beautifully written post. I got a little bit choked up reading it! I am just so happy for you and Joe!! So, so exciteing.

  34. 1.23.12

    *exciting… typed too fast!

  35. 1.23.12
    alyson said:

    How beautiful. I love how simple and perfect the romance is. A quite place for both of you, just you, a beautiful engagement in your home… it’s all perfect. I’ve been to that winery (to celebrate my first anniversary more than six years ago!) yet I never saw that area. Next time! Would love to visit the wineries again. Congrats!

  36. 1.23.12
    Jacquelyn said:

    I’m just so excited for you two! Such a sweet story

  37. 1.23.12

    This is the sweetest love story! Congratulations :)

  38. 1.23.12
    Hogger said:

    Waaah……such a beautiful story! CONGRATS!!! Love it!

  39. 1.23.12
    Lindsay said:

    Congratulations Victoria! It sounds absolutely perfect!

  40. 1.23.12

    Oh my Goodness, congrats!!! And what a lovely story ;)

  41. 1.23.12

    How precious! I’m so happy for you. Big Congratulations to you both!

  42. 1.23.12
    Kelly said:

    Congratulations, Victoria!!! I am SO excited for you both! As I was reading this- specifically the part where you mentioned how long you two have been together- all I could think of was Charlotte in Sex and the City (the movie) where Carrie tells the girls she’s engaged to Big, and Charlotte screams “AHHHH!!” and then stands up in the middle of the restaurant and explains that she’s excited because her best friend just got engaged and “she’s been dating the guy for TEN YEARS!!” *I wish we knew each other in “real life” because I would totally do that. These are such exciting times for you; attention must be paid!!! :)

  43. 1.23.12
    Lauren said:

    Such an incredible story, and written so lovely. Congratulations my friend! xoxo

  44. 1.23.12
    Harriet said:

    Congratulations!! :) Take a breather before jumping into planning the wedding… it can get a bit overwhelming. Remember that the day is about celebrating your love… and have fun!!!

  45. 1.23.12
    Taylor O said:

    Annnnndd I’m crying :) Beautifully written – I don’t even “really” know you and I’m so so happy for you :) Such a perfect way to celebrate the proposal and your relationship!!!! Congrats again!!!!!

  46. 1.23.12
    Casey said:

    Teary-eyed! Congratulations – what an amazing story! I’m so excited for you!

    Best of luck xx

    P.S. Please share some wedding-ness on your blog :)

  47. 1.23.12
    Crystalin said:

    This is just the perfect story and so well written. Seriously, made me teary-eyed. Over the moon for you!

    Let’s meet up asap. I want to hear more details on engagement and Alt. What does your weekend look like?

  48. 1.23.12
    Amanda said:

    Such a beautiful engagement story… and love story!! Congrats!!

  49. 1.23.12

    aww your story brought tears to my eyes! Congratulations. I just got engaged in November, and so far, wedding planning is the best. Can’t wait to see your progress via the blog!

  50. 1.24.12

    Congratulations! I wish you the best! And looking forward to the wedding plans.

  51. 1.24.12
    Charlotte said:

    Best wishes, Victoria!! Such a sweet, romantic story.

  52. 1.24.12

    awww. congrats!!! it’s my personal belief that the more simple and intimate the proposal, the better the marriage ;) enjoy this time – it’s such a magical period in life. sending you lots of love and best wishes for the future! xo

  53. 1.24.12
    Natalie said:

    This is just so sweet. I am SO happy and excited for you guys!

  54. 1.24.12
    Becca said:

    Congratulations! I loved reading this romantic moment!!

  55. 1.24.12
    Lisa said:

    Congratulations!! What a lovely story.

  56. 1.30.12

    So sweet! Thanks for sharing your story. Great pictures, as usual. Congrats again!

  57. 7.30.13
    Ailee said:

    I should totally be working, yet I’m sitting at my desk teary eyed. What a beautiful story. I love it (and the ring and Domaine Chandon).