Sheldon Haynie
April 23, 2012 | Other stuff, Vineyards, Wines | Sheldon Haynie

Hitting stride for the season

We've been documenting the fun of a startup business which depends on the whims of nature and customers. Jane and I are having fun while working our tails off, finding reserves we didn't think were still there in our late 50's. Its a process of effort, reward and realization.

The weekend of the 14th we bottled 340 cases of our wines; > 100 Colombard, ~60 Chardonnay, ~60 Pinot, 25 Mead, 16 Viognier, and 75 Cabernet Sauvignon. The Merlot isn't quite ready to bottle and we're thinking about some blends and additional Meads. These should be ready to release in late May or early June, to augment our rapidly diminishing stock. It was a balancing act to make it through nearly a year based on our initial inventory, and to date, we've only run out of the Santa Cruz '07 Pinot, taking the last case for the library. 

Our '10 Pinot from Carneros will be even better, based on barrel sampling, so we're happy to get it out and share. The '10 Colombard and Chardonnay continue to sell well and we'll work a bit harder to place them locally when the '11's release as they are quite distinctive. Our '11 reds are aging and ready for racking soon, and we'll get a first look at the wines and how they are developing.

All of this and we're busy in the fields too. Its just the start of spraying season, and we're still mowing and tilling to keep weeds and cover crops down. At an 2 acres an hour, that's a lot of "tractor butt" for an old guy, but it's worth the aches to see the vines respond. Our tasting and baking associate Joan Funk is also interning on the tractor, and will be assuming some of the responsibilities midweek, to reduce the evening and weekend frenzy. 

Of course when it rains it pours; this few weeks we've had not one but two couples that want us to consult/help/install a vineyard for them. We're looking at the sites this week and will see what the possibilities are.


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