Friday, May 15, 2009
It's Official..We are a licensed Class A Farm Winery
It's becoming more and more real. In a matter of weeks we will have people tasting our wines, lazing around the courtyard drinking in a taste of the simple life. We have been putting in long days and nursing sore backs but we have no doubt it will all be worth it.
The vineyard has been keeping us busy this spring, but it's been more the darn grass then the grapes. We have had rain rain rain! Our little grapes are growing very well but the grass and weeds in the vineyard are a constant struggle. We are trying to strike that perfect balance between ground cover and grape vines. We hate to just kill everything off and expose the soil completely but it appears at least some exposure around the vines is where the balance lies. We are thinking of a 2 to 4 foot span. Our Chambourcin really had a hard first year so our goal is to optimize growth this year as much as possible, maybe even allowing them to get a bit "wild" in leaf production. Unfortunately that does require removing any form of competition surrounding the vines. Next year should be a harvest year which will allow us to let the ground cover move back in to a moderate degree.
To top it all off we have new babies in the vineyard! This week we planted 750 Seyval vines. We feel much like parents do with the birth of their second child, confident in our knowledge we have gained from the first child, but also realistic in the fact each child brings their own challenges...no two are the same! We had four people planting and it took us about 6 hours. Not a bad days work. I was happy with the soil composition in this block and look forward to tasting the fruits of our labor. Mike made sure to allow a good span of vegetation free space which we will vigorously maintain for the first two years. Last year we fought weeds, Japanese Beatles and deer. This year we are ready for those and feel confident we will prevail.
The tasting room and cellar have really come along! Mike has done a very nice job designing the layouts of the tasting bar and cellars. He made a very nice square wrap around tasting bar that will comfortably accommodate quite a few people. No need to squeeze in to allow everyone a taste. If we have to squeeze you in at this bar we shouldn't be pouring a taste for you, we can't possibly give it the attention that a good tasting requires. We have put a lot of thought into the feel of the winery that we are trying to create and maintain once we open. Years of visiting Virginia wineries has given me a very good perspective from a patrons point of view. The places that I remember and frequented the most, took the time to create a welcome personal experience. When you walked through the door you felt the essence of the place and wanted to stay and experience it. The ones that I decided I would not return to are the ones that just poured the wine and look for the sale. I can go to a wine shop for that. My oldest son and I were talking the other day about the winery and it's opening. Now for anyone that knows my oldest son, or for that matter has a teenage son, any time something that feels similar to a compliment comes out of his mouth I believe it is a miracle! Well he actually gave me a miracle the other day when we were discussing the winery. He said it had a really neat feel to it, very laid back. He said its the kind of place that makes you want to stay for awhile and relax. Now not being one that goes to many wineries (although he did practically grow up at them when I could still force him to spend time with me) it made me feel very good to hear he was getting the "feel" I was trying to create. If I can reach him I can reach anybody!!!
Posted by Annoyomous at 4:27 AM