Tuesday, April 29, 2008

We have a new sign tonight! We have been working on it for a few days, worrying the neighbors, I'm sure. But we put it in place this evening, and we think it looks awesome. It somehow makes this adventure a little more real. Of course, now we need to quickly put up a "Closed" sign, because we aren't quite ready for company. (We need some wine that is actually in bottles before people start driving up.) Hopefully, in another couple of months, we'll be ready.

So here is an update on the vines; they are starting to come out, but so sloooooowly. This is the latest spring I can remember. Even the newly planted vines show (tiny) signs of life, but the vineyard still looks brown overall. You can see life if you look closely, so we are optimistic. We just wish it would hurry up and get green!

Monday, April 21, 2008

OK, it finally feels like spring. Today was warm, with a mild breeze and that slight humid feel to the air that smells fresh. It feels like we have been waiting forever! Last year the vines woke up early, but this year they are like lazy teenagers on a summer morning- just not ready to stir. However, we saw our first glimpses of life in the vines in the last couple of days. There are very few real leaves yet, but the buds are definitely swollen.

We got our first shipment of bottles today, and that was an experience! A pallet of bottles is much taller than we had somehow expected. Driving the forklift is still a new enough experience to be frightening for everyone involved, but we managed without any disasters. We are one step closer to being ready to bottle the white wines. This dream is becoming more real every week.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

After all the flurry of activity with planting, things have slowed down. We finished putting on grow tubes, wires and irrigation by Monday afternoon, then watched the storms come in over the next few days. It has either been cold, windy or rainy, (or all three) ever since. Fortunately the grapevines remain dormant, so the freeze we expect tonight shouldn't be a big problem. But we are ready for budbreak! And decent weather!

We have been able to spend some time working on preparing equipment for bottling. Our directions were in English, rather than the Italian we have come to expect, but it still took some work to get things figured out. I think we are one step closer to being ready to bottle.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Planting day was yesterday, and it went very smoothly. We had a great crew of friends and family, almost all of them experienced, so they were very efficient. The weather cooperated, and although we started in jackets, most of us had shed them by lunchtime. We planted another small vineyard of Seyval and Chambourcin, which have been our most reliable varietals so far. They should be producing grapes for wine within 3 years.

At lunchtime we barrel tasted our 2007 Barrel Reserve White, and found it awesome! We will be bottling it soon. We also tasted the Chambourcin, which is coming along nicely, and went very well with barbecued brisket. The 2007 Cabernet is maturing well in oak, and will probably be ready for bottling in the fall.

Spring has finally started to come to the vineyard, though the grapevines are still dormant. At least the daffodils and the apricot tree are providing color. It was a great day to be outside!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Brian Sollo, this post is for you. Yes, this is your parents' website. Show your friends!