Thursday, February 23, 2012

Winter & Wine

I am loving this so-called “winter weather” and it is having an effect on the grape crop for this year. Warmer winter weather can cause the buds to begin to develop early and if there is a late frost, it can destroy the crop fairly easily. So as the daffodils push through and bloom, thinking its April, we hope the grapes keep their heads down and we have no heavy frosts to come.

The Wine Nite this past weekend was a Big Success! We had a houseful of wine drinkers, the music was loud, and the talking was furious. A couple who had never been to a wine night and knew no one there remarked, “These people are extremely friendly, we sat down and they just drew us into their conversation!” Its true, when a group of Wine Club members get together, they like to talk and don’t care who they talk to!

We were also gratified to have several customers comment on how much they appreciated the Wine Nites as an opportunity for them to get in to buy wine, after their usual work times. The Wine Nite idea was a result of comments like this, but I must admit, they’ve turned into a monthly party as much as anything!

At Wine Nite, we introduced the new EEL RIVER semi-sweet red wine, made with Pinot Noir, and the response was quite favorable. I have been getting some grief about a few of the fruit wines we have run out of, so we are THINKING about starting a new batch of all the fruit wines; that's THINKING! We’ll keep you up to date as to the thought process as it progresses…

What is good news is how the 2011 wines are progressing, especially the Foch we use for the dry red, HANGING ROCK, and the semi-sweet SWAYZEE. We hope to have these in the bottle by mid March.

We expect to have the dates for the March and April Wine Nites and free seminars out pretty soon, as well as the May Spring Open House, first of the Big Events for 2012. Keep a watch here for details!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

So You Want To Make Wine, Huh?

So, it’s about an hour before The Big Game and business has been very slow in the winery. Typical for a Big Game day, so wine drinkers do like football? Apparently…

I spent the weekend working on the new semi-sweet red wine that’s replacing the old EEL RIVER, made with Cab Franc, with different taste using Pinot Noir. Its hard to get the great flavor of a dry red wine in a semi-sweet, but I think we might have a winner here. I will knock out a test batch in the next week or so and offer it at the next WINE NITE!

Oh, I should mention our next WINE NITE is Saturday, February 18, 6-9pm. For those of you new to the blog, a Wine Nite is where we stay open till 9 instead of 6 pm; we play music loud, and people talk even louder, and the last few have been very busy!

The next free seminar is being held on Sunday, February 26, 4:30-6 pm; the topic is: HOME WINEMAKING BASICS. The program will discuss the ins-and-outs of making your own wine and mistakes to avoid. We’ll talk costs, where you can buy stuff, and how bad might your first batch be? Send an email with HOME WINEMAKING in the topic line and reserve your spot; only 20 spots open, so do not wait too long!

The free seminar for March will be “Midwest Wine Destinations – planning a winery getaway” and April will feature “Starting Your Own Winery” for those of you with a spare few hundred thousand to toss around! Watch here for scheduling!

May's Spring Open House planning is underway! This big event draws hundreds in to see our modest winemaking set-up and a fun Q&A with the winemaker himself. There will be some fun too, so again, watch the blog for more information!