Friday, January 20, 2012

New Year, New Wine?

I spend more time in the tasting room in the winter and early spring. Yes, its because business is slower this time of year and I am cheap about having help in with little to do. Oh, and I like to reconnect with customers and get feedback on the wine.

I tend to piddle with wine left over from the prior vintage while things are slower. This sometimes gets me kudos and sometimes gets me trashed. I am in the process of bottling a new dry white wine using the Indiana Seyval Blanc. I love a crisp, clean, simple Seyval and our MISSISSINEWA WHITE has been in our line since 2003. But I have been monkeying with it and we'll see if I get trashed or kudo'ed!?

The sweet wine lovers can look forward to February when I hope to offer the new versions of SWEET SALAMONIE and WATERTOWER, both white wines that come close to pegging the sweet-o-meter. As I wrap these up, I start tweaking a new semi-sweet red and trying to get the new vintage Foch wines ready to bottle.

Tomorrow is our January Wine Nite and as I sit here typing the snow is piling up, but the weatherpersons are promising it will break in the morning and clear up for the day. I just hope we can get the people in here for Wine Nite, I think its fun and i get to sell a little wine!

We kick off our free seminars on the 29th with a wine basics class for those who want to know more about the wine world. We'll talk about wine names, types, appellations, regions, and descriptors. We only have room for 20 to 25 people for these little workshops, so sign up soon if you want to attend!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

“Help, my dining room is full of gift baskets!”

So I got yelled at recently by a customer who said, "I have been waiting two months for your blog on the dining room full of gift baskets thing, what happened?"

Ok, fair enough, but its not all that funny when its happening. Every year my wife takes on the task of making ALOT of gift baskets for the winery. Its a lot of work, of course, because she is picky about what she puts into the baskets and how they are put together.

Begining in around July, she starts looking for baskets and stuff to put in them, although I have seen her sneak bags full of items in throughout the year with the explanation, "There was a closeout!". These items are socked away in our guest bedroom (thus no overnite house guests September thru December) and brought out in early October for assembly.

From that point on, the dining room in the center of our home is piled high and full of grass bedding, baskets of all shapes and sizes, ribbon, plastic wrap, and do-hickies to jazz up the baskets.

Oh, plus candy and snacks too. See, I have been known to snack on my way through the dining room and this results often in me getting yelled at for eating the basket goodies. True enough, but first of all, I see it as compensation for the inconvenience and secondarily, she should factor in my "grazing" as I have done this for years!

At times, its a real obstacle course walking through the house as the piles spill into the walkway or path through the dining room. This huge "mess" casues another interesting development: my wife does prefers to not have any visitors see her home looking "this way". I say, we will explain what this pile of stuff is and they will understand. Uh, no! We greet family and other personal visitors in the winery instead of our home and we take them out to eat instead of offering my wife's great home cooking.

This is one of the many sacrifices one makes for owning a small winery. I guess its a fairly small one in the greater scheme of things, losing a dining room while gaining a winery. Maybe we could add on to the winery? Hummmmm???

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Good Deed

So my wife and I took off for the weekend at the first of the year, a few days to rest and recharge after the demanding holiday season.

While we we gone, the area experienced some very high winds that broke our swinging sign, snapping off one side and causing the sign to swing about on the one hook.

This could have very easily allowed our (expensive!) sign to bash itself to pieces against the sign post.

But someone came and unhooked the other side and left it laying by our stairs. We have patched the sign back together and it is once again back in place.

THANK YOU! To this anonymous Samaritan(s) who went to considerable trouble to do this Good Deed. It almost restores one's faith in humanity!