Sunday, December 27, 2009

Baby, it's cold outside!

The vineyard is beautiful in snow if the sun comes out, but we have only seen a few short glimpses of sunshine in the past week. I'm getting tired of being cold! Dave had me working in the cellar this afternoon, and it has no heat but is still a lot warmer than outside. At least the wind stopped blowing, so I should stop whining.

The year is quickly coming to a close, which means it's time for reflection. We've been looking at the photos, reliving some of the great harvest parties and remembering all the activity at the winery (like Dave's new big tanks). I won't have a top 10 list of best or worst moments, though that could be enlightening. Lately I've mostly just been trying to keep warm.

Business in the tasting room picked up for Christmas, which was really nice. Liz, who worked for us last summer, came out to help while she was home on break. Overall we've had a very good year, with sales up substantially from the year before. And we continue to learn what works and what doesn't. Business in the liquor stores has been good too, and we appreciated all the people who went in and asked for our wines.

The 2009 vintage wines are aging nicely at present. We have been working with them, trying to decide how we will use them this time. It's a lot more complicated that you would think, and we have rethought the plans several times now. Dry, sweet, blended or not, what will our customers like and what will we be proud to offer? When will be the right time to think about bottling?

The Kansas Grape Growers and Winemakers annual meeting is in a couple of weeks, and we are proud to announce that our 2008 Red Barrel Reserve wine has been chosen by the chef to be served at the banquet. It's quite an honor, and we are thrilled. It has been our favorite of our wines for awhile, and we are glad for the chance to share it.

We will be reverting to our Saturday only hours now, until sometime in the spring when it warms up. See you then, and have a Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

It's slow in the vineyard now, so the boys needed a project and did they ever find one. Dave and the guys from our winetasting group (the ones that got us started on this glorious wine adventure) decided we needed to have a pig roast.

So Dave got online and did some research. Then he and the guys did some planning. Then some building. Then some calling around because a whole pig already cleaned is not easy to find. And then Saturday, while Jeff and I worked the tasting room, they roasted the pig. With great ceremony. What a manly adventure!

Actually, the people coming to the tasting room often had to wander over to inspect the progress, although it was not a pretty day. I was glad to have an excuse to be inside!

But afterwards, when we had the feast with contributions from everybody and lots of wine, we all felt thoroughly satisfied. This is wine country living at its best. (You didn't know you could call it that in Kansas, did you?)