Friday, April 30, 2010

Stop the rain dance!

So we have the Open House planned for tomorrow and everything is under control, except the weather? TV channel 8 says it will rain from 6 am til noon, then start up again after 7 pm. Well that’s dandy! That should give us the time we need for the open house and everyone can stay dry. We are planning just in case the weather is a bit damp, I am known by certain old friends as “the tarp man”, so I do have a plan.

There is a non-winery event I want to mention. Almost every year we attend the “Greatest Spectacle in Tasting” at Bona Vista programs in Kokomo. Its three huge tents full of wine, beer, food, and hundreds of silent auction items. Bona Vista is an organization that works with the MR/DD population and the physically challenged. This event is their main fund-raiser and we go most years and it is a very good time. The movers & shakers will be there and so will we. So We will be closing the winery at 6 sharp that day and heading over to Kokomo for a fun few hours. Here are the details:

Do not miss the GREATEST SPECTACLE IN TASTING on Saturday, May 15 from 6-9 PM at 1220 East Laguna in Kokomo. Taste fine wines, microbrews, and sample food from the area's best restaurants. This is a fund-raiser for Bona Vista Programs and tickets are $30 advance from Soupley's Wine & Spirits in Kokomo or $35 at the door. Live music, great auction items, we've gone for years and have a GREAT time. See you there!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Too Cold!

Ok, so I had a few minutes last night, so I worked on the website some more. Are you tired hearing about the website? Imagine how I must feel! LOL - I have something else I thought I would rant about, maybe you'll find it more interesting.

I am sick to death of being served COLD dry wines at restaurants! I go to a nice place, spend $20+ bucks on an appetizer, $20+ bucks on an entree, then another $20+ on what I hope is a decent wine. Then they bring it our and it is ICY cold. What is the matter with these people? Now i will admit there is some disagreement about what is the IDEAL temp' for each wine.

I looked at one wine site that listed over 100 wines at a variety of temps', especially the point that "cheap" wines should be colder then premium wines, to mute their undesirable flavor I guess.

BUT even this wine site showed it should not be 'beer' cold! The last red wine I ordered came as cold as soda pop, the last chardonnay was about the same. They stick the bottle in an ice bucket! Now, bring me a dry red at room temp and then stick it in an ice bucket, OK. A good red is best at below 70 degrees, closer to 60 in my view.

So, I have become a pain (I am certain) to some of our local eateries, since I want to send back any wine that is below 45 degrees. So do I start looking like a bigger wine geek by carrying a thermometer to check it? Well maybe, but I wish these folks who charge us outrageous prices ($28 for a >$10 wine? Now thats a mark-up!) for the wine they have to stock could at least get onboard and serve it at CLOSE to a reasonable temp.

What do you think? Click ‘comment’ below (no registration necessary) or email me at See you at the Open House!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Open House!

Every spring we traditionally have an Open House, in which we literally open the doors of the winery and welcome people in to see what goes on in our little operation. We are going to hold the 2010 Spring Open House on Saturday, May 1 from 1-6 pm.

We will offer you the opportunity to peek into the winemaking area, with a 15 minute formal tour held every half hour from 1 pm to 5:30 pm. I will be on hand to answer questions, show off our simple equipment, and talk wine with whomever cares to stop by and poke their head in.

We will have live music from 1:30 pm to 5:30 pm. Our old friend, Chad Shrock, the “Modern Minstrel” ( will be playing his mandolin and guitar. If you have not yet seen Chad, his musical mix runs from Celtic to Elvis and most things in between.

We’ll have a few other surprises too, a few snacks, and free winetasting as always. We hope you can join us at the Open House as we swing into Spring and head for Summer!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Spring Cleaning? nah...

Ahh Spring! I love the warm weather, the sunny days, but its time to cut grass! I have never liked cutting grass but am too cheap to hire someone to do it. I usually buy a new mower every two or three years, but five years ago I bought one that is till going, will it start again this year or will I get a new mower to kick off 2010?

I did spend a good bit of time in the yard already. There are weeds and debris to clean up and our grapevines got pruned back. I am please with the progress the transplanted vine has made growing up on the lattice over our outdoor seating area. If the vine survived the winter, it should fully cover the arbor this year after making good progress last year.

We will complete the painting of the winery and the house this year, one way or the other. I allowed too many other things to divert me last year and we will get it done. Taking down the Big Red Awning is a big job, but it has to happen. I will attack that no later then Memorial Day weekend. (Famous Last Words)

It’s true the older you get the faster time flies, relative to yourself anyway. We have less then two months before we go back to our seven-day-a-week schedule at the winery. I know some of you will be happy about that because you have said you prefer us being there, well it starts up again Tuesday, June 1.

NEW WINE NAMES: Yes, we are working on ten new labels and we would like your input on what local names you would like to see us use on these new labels. We are looking for places of local interest that sound like the name of a wine (no more votes for “Gas City” please!). Email us or make a “comment” (see below) here to submit your idea for our new wine label names.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Have you mowed yet?

The sun is shining and the grass is growing and temperatures are at July levels, welcome to April folks! The winery is staying quite busy (thank you!) and we survived the Kokomo Home Show last weekend.

The Home Show was a fun, we surprised a lot of people by being there, and met a lot of people who said, “We’ve been meaning to get out there…”. Its was a new experience for my wife, I have worked home shows before for other jobs, but she did not realize how long the day could be when you are standing and pouring wine for eight hours straight. We did buy a number of new things to allow us to work the show, a pop-up tent, a bar-height table, a new cash register, and a whole bunch of disposable wine glasses. So we are set for the next off-site event!

I have been asked about our April Special Event and I am happy to announce it will be Sunday, April 18th at 4:30 pm, entitled: “Winemaking at Home and in the Winery”. I will discuss and explain both basic home winemaking methods and commercial methods; we will include a walk through our winemaking area; and respond to any winemaking questions you have. As always, this 90-minute seminar is FREE and all you have to do is email us and reserve your spot(s). Watch us here in May, we’ll be having our Spring Open House with free tours and other fun stuff happening.

I do not know why I tend to use violent terms when discussing winemaking. A customer asked me about the blueberry I have been working on and I replied, “I have been beating it at least once a week and it has not yet come around!” This might well be a reflection of my frustration in why this wine has not come to a point we can bottle it or maybe I need to consider what TV shows I am watching?

If you have not been in recently, the new wines are well worth a try. I have been very happy with the new dry Chardonnel, SYCAMORE STUMP, because it has developed some very nice flavors. Its more then just a light crisp, white wine. Its actually got a bit more going on then that. It is a little young, but I’m drinking it!