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Monday, June 8, 2009

Wine and Song, benefit to feed the hungry

It has been a month of many changes here at Crooked Run Cellars. We have planted grapes, lost a vineyard manager, found a vineyard manager, nursed the vineyard manager back to health, prepared for a benefit concert, and finally hosted the benefit. So I guess I should start at the first and bring you to the later.

On May 12th we planted the next variety of hybrids in the lower vineyard, 750 Seyval grapes. If you are familiar with this grape you will understand why I am excited to work with it in the cellar. I have tasted several different styles and blends and can't wait to create one of my own. As far as in the vineyard, this grape is known to produce very high yields without loosing flavor and structure in the wine.

Now to our vineyard manager mishap. If you have been reading the blog from the beginning you will remember being introduced to our vineyard manager Rowdy the Border Collie. If you haven't I will save you from scrolling down looking for an explanation of who he is. Rowdy was adopted from the shelter to assist us in our efforts to convince the deer they are not welcome in the vineyard. Last year the deer did a number on our Chambourcin grapes even with our deer fence. So after a bit of research we thought the vineyard dog seems to be a pretty cost effective way to control their access. I tried to keep this more of a business relationship since I already have 3 labs that are attached at the hips to me. Rowdy had other plans. He stole my heart very quickly. Well long story short he went on a chase one morning and didn't come back. We searched the woods behind the vineyard for 3 days all the while my heart becoming very heavy. It just didn't seem possible that we could open the winery without Rowdy there to witness it. It amazes me how dogs can weave themselves into the fiber of your life. On the third day I began to lose hope and prepare myself for the reality he would not be coming back. Mike sprayed early that day and decided to take a drive through the woods on the tractor before putting it away for the day. He found Rowdy in a thick wooded area stuck in a fence...we had been within feet of him many times and he never made a sound. He was stuck by his back foot and severely dehydrated. When we got him to the vet it was apparent he was going to lose part of the foot and maybe even the whole leg if the nerve damage does not prove to be too extensive. So our little Rowdy is now on work comp disability for awhile and becoming very found of living in the house with me. With a bit of reluctance I can say the feeling is mutual. He has been a great patient. You can just tell by the look in his eyes he is grateful to us once again for saving his life. It may be time to convince my labs they have to do more then sleep on the front porch and eat. So far the deer are still thinking Rowdy is managing the vineyard so we haven't sustained any damage. We have vines this year over 6 foot tall and two feet spreading on the cordon wire. I really need to spend some time photographing the vineyard.

And now to the Benefit Concert. I can honestly say I have not worked so hard for something and felt such pride when it came together. It truly was a testament to the old saying "do what you love, love what you do". I have stood in that barn several times and visualized what it would be like to see it full of people but to actually see it happen was at times overwhelming. I thought I would be really nervous the morning of but when it all started I just had this sense of peace, like I was doing what I was really meant to do and it all came together. I remember my first customers. They did a tasting of the wine (we only had two ready for the event) and bought a bottle. Our very first customers! Doesn't seem like much to most but it was everything to me! After that the day got even better! The turnout was not what we had expected but the generosity to the farm was more then we expected. It was truly a testament to community and what makes this country great. It's in the difficult times that we really get to experience the American spirit. Great weather, fantastic music, happy people doesn't get any better then that.....oh wait I forgot the WINE! :-)


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  2. This wine club is so great weather fantastic music, happy people everywhere. I am always looking out for cellars wine club promotion code