Saturday, May 30, 2009

Now it really feels like summer at Grace Hill Winery! It is hot and sunny, and the vines are growing like crazy. We are trying to keep them under control, but they can be just plain unruly at times. However, to get the best crop, in the best condition, we really need to control the growth. Since the quality of the wine is directly related to the quality of the grapes, we really want to do our best.

We had a vineyard consultant this week, Dr. Keith Striegler, from the University of Missouri. We walked the vineyard with him and got all sorts of recommendations about fertilizing, pest control and crop loads. It is so nice to have someone who knows what we could do better to advise us.

Memorial Day weekend was awesome for us too. We had Dave's parents and our boys here, and got everyone to pitch in to bottle the Barrel Reserve White 2008. It is a really nice wine, and we had a great time bottling, with music playing and the boys singing along. There is an entirely different energy in the room when they are there. We had a lot of fun bottling with Mark and Nell a couple of weeks ago, and it certainly wasn't dull conversation, but somehow the boys kick it up a notch.

The 2008 Barrel Reserve White is quite different from the 2007, but I think both are really good. It should be released for sale in about another month. In the meantime, we do have the 2007 vintage still available. We had it with oysters a couple of weeks ago, and it was a perfect accompaniment. (It's also good with quail, smoked salmon, smoked chicken, cheeses, and just by itself!)

We had a very nice article published about the winery in the Newton Kansan newspaper yesterday. You may be able to find it here. It has brought out some traffic today, and hopefully that will continue.

So come out and see us! We have lots of wine available, and lots of things to try.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Spring is finally here! The vines are awake- even the newly planted ones. This afternoon was one of those perfect days, where the air is crisp and the sun is warm, and everything seems possible.

The vines seem to have come through the winter well. Though the season is late this year, the plants look vigorous and we are anticipating a great season. (True farmers will tell you that it is way too soon to tell, though. Anything could happen.) It feels so good to be out in the vines, training them to grow properly.

We bottled yesterday, the Cabernet Franc and the Red Barrel Reserve. They should be awesome, and will be ready for release in another month or so. The Dodging Tornados Silver, the sweeter version of our signature Chambourcin wine, is now released and is for sale in the tasting room. It has been a big hit so far. So if you've been waiting for it, come on out.

Dave's sign seems to be working at bringing people in, which makes him very happy. I wasn't sure how many people would actually notice it, but people definitely have done so, and have stopped in as a result. We also got some people to come by when they heard Dave on Guy Bower's radio show, which was a lot of fun for him. One way or another, people seem to be finding us! So come on out, Saturdays from 11-5 or other times by appointment.