Thursday, March 25, 2010

websites and home shows

Our website has been redone; again, I was just not happy with the look or the layout. I think the new website is not as flashy, but more functional. We will try to get the special event calendar set up asap. I am already getting questions about the bread-baking contest in June and the Cheesecake Festival in September. Soon, folks, soon!

We did decide to go ahead and try attending the Kokomo Home Show this weekend, so you will not see us in the winery much. One big obstacle to “doing” a home show is the cost of your booth itself; special items needed to run the booth like cash registers, credit card machines, sample cups, etc, etc, etc.

We did decide to charge $1 for tasting at the show as a way to recapture some of the overhead. Well, that and to deal with all those people who show and want to know what is “free” at your booth. How many pencils and pens can someone use in their lifetime, anyway?

The new wines have been well received, my staff kids me I have not come out with a “clunker” recently, I told them sooner or later it happens! We try to avoid that through test tastings of small batches. A good example I have mentioned before is the blueberry we have but have not bottled yet. I just cannot quite hit a good flavor with that wine yet, so we let it sit in the barrels for a while longer and then I will take another run at it.

I wanted to thank a number of you faithful readers for your regular emails in response to question we have posed here. It seems many of you hesitate to post a public “comment” (see below) but are quite willing to zing us an email. We appreciate that willingness and your input. As the weather warms up, so does the business at the winery and we hope to see you in there soon!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

New Wines are in!

So I was working last week in the winery and I finally got around to bottling several new wines. One I had looked forward to was our first Gew├╝rztraminer which we call WATERTOWER in reference to the old water tower that was torn down last year, it was truly a landmark for local drivers and pilots. The wine has a nice flavor and turned out a bit sweeter than I expected it too. Give it a taste and let us know what you think.

We had a nice batch of Chardonnel grapes we got from Southern Indiana and we bottled the first barrel and called it SYCAMORE STUMP, if you’re from Kokomo you’ll get the name. Its a very nice dry white and my wife likes it a lot. So do I!

We are happy to announce we have bottled some more of our Cabernet Franc, RIVERWALK, which I thought was a little too light in body. Our customers disagreed and have been complaining. I was going to blend it with some Foch, but the people have spoken. Stop by this weekend and try it.

The issue of light bodied reds is interesting, because most winemakers tend to prefer full- to medium-bodied wines. Many light reds are thought to be too thin in the mouth, with not a great deal of flavor volume. I have always felt that was untrue and our customers who are not red wine drinkers are telling us they LIKE the lighter reds, so we will continue to offer simples, easy-to-drink red wines as one more distinguishing point in our favor, sales-wise.

I know several people are waiting to hear about our April special event and if you can be patient, we will have that information out very soon. I want to thank those who have commented on the new website, still under construction, we think it has a bit more up-to-date look then the old one. We hope to have some video added in soon and maybe even a podcast? Keep watching!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Home Shows & Websites

We were recently invited to be a part of the Z92.5 Home Show at the Kokomo Event Center on US 31 on March 27-28. Now I have blown off these types of events over the years because I did not see a fit for a winery in them. But I have attended several similar shows recently and I am amazed at the number of non-home-type vendors that are there selling all kinds of stuff.

Then I went to the Indianapolis Home show, the one held at the fairgrounds. I saw Barefoot Cellars there sampling and selling their wine in a pretty fancy booth. And they were pretty darn busy too! I asked several people what they thought of a winery at the home show and got positive responses from all. One lady said it was a nice break from all the walking around, a vendor mentioned he loved the idea of potential customer s having a drink while shopping!?

So what do you think? Do you need a quick sip while wandering the Home Show? Would you buy a glass or a bottle of wine you liked, -at a home show? You can email us at oakhillwinery@yahoo.com or click the ‘comment’ link below.

A bit of good news, we finally were able to get the www.oakhillwinery.com name bought, registered, whatever. We have been waiting for ten years for whoever owned it to contact us or stop re-registering the name, and they finally did! For now, the www.oakhillwines.com will remain our website, but we will eventually set up a parallel site under the new name and begin the phase-out of the old name over a few years.

Have you visited our newly revamped website? Its still under construction, but I am getting he hang of the new program now, a few bugs to track down and kill. Any suggestions as to new content? Let us know….