Go past the “ruins” marked with detached columns. Step onto the patio of what appears to be a 12th century medieval church and enjoy the view of the gardens. Below is a pond where catfish give Mallard ducks a playful bump from below. A stone wall surrounds the sweeping view. Swings, benches and cast iron urns with tumbling greenery create hidden nooks. This must be a fairy tale – complete with a grumpy goose best avoided.
Wait, there is a door and it is unlocked. A peak is too tempting. Turn the knob and welcome to the jungle. Shed your jacket and clear your fogged eyeglasses. Moorish lanterns hang from the ceiling and meet banana tree leaves reaching up from below. Coffee beans, navel oranges, and lemon trees intermingle with twisty orange glass sculpture. In the corner are plants with thick bare trunks reminiscent of ancient grape vines. A slightly beaten Grecian carved wood door decorates the front of a bar. Behind the bar Burl Mostul has changed from his “gardening” baseball cap to his “tasting room” baseball cap. His smile is audible in his voice. He and his wife Cindy answer questions about the plants until the enchantment subsides enough to remember oh yes, wine is the purpose of this visit.
You are not standing in an ancient Romanesque structure. You haven’t even left Oregon. You are in Oregon City. It is not a land of magic, but it is a dream. It is the dream of Burl and Cindy Mostul and it is called Villa Catalana Cellars.