Journey: Thoughts and Reflections along the path. 

Patty Lev
 
May 28, 2015 | Patty Lev

Never Stop Growing

Never Stop Growing…

Last week, Sheldon and I walked through the Chiarla Vineyard checking on the drip emitters and the valves to make sure there were any leaks. However, as we walked through the vineyard, I noticed that in the western block of the vineyard there was a leak.  What was supposed to be a relatively easy day, turned into an excellent learning opportunity.

The leak was caused from there being too much stress on the pipes, which consequently caused them to burst from the weather.

One trip to ACE hardware store later, the repair work began out in the vineyard. I figured with enough supplies for three attempts, Chris and I could engineer the best solution. Part of the charm of working for Lightheart Cellars is the opportunity to have more hands-on experience. And, well, this was definitely hands-on…and very muddy

Chris joined me shortly after, and we began to get to work.  He dug a 2 feet deep trench. But, we encountered another issue and that was the unevenness of the pipes to be joined together. Chris and I aimed to fabricate a unit that would be able to combat the potential issue of the unit freezing and breaking only to be replaced again.  After three failed attempts to create a successful unit, we called it a day.

However, a consultation with Sheldon the following morning, along with another trip to ACE, Chris and I made a 4th attempt to solve the issue. The final result proved to work well, and now Chris and I both have the ability to fix this issue in case we encounter it again…which is more than likely.

This project was the first time that Chris and I worked together, and it stressed the importance of communication and teamwork. And, while it was quite frustrating since our initial game plans were not working, it made us think outside the box. At the end of the day, while this was a very dirty project, that didn’t go exactly as planned, it gives us a better appreciation for the final product, which is the wine.

 

Time Posted: May 28, 2015 at 2:33 PM
Sheldon Haynie
 
May 23, 2015 | Sheldon Haynie

Four Fast Years

We are approaching four years of being open, and will celebrate with a party on June 20th. Its hard to write the highlights of four years, the time spent in pursuing an undergraduate degree, in a few short paragraphs but these are the highlights. 

It has gone quickly from about 150 cases when we first opened on the third Saturday in June of 2011 under a 10x10 canopy out between the vineyard blocks. Jane and I sat out behind a small bar and waited to see who would stop in. One of our first customers was Steve Beck who was gracious and complementary and lead to our first commercial placement. We got over our nervousness, learned to give good customer service and to welcome feedback. The first time Dan Rocca stopped by, we knew we had "made it" and having our wines on the shelf at Rocca's Market has been a point of pride. Attending the Gilroy Garlic Festival as a wine tent participant was memorable. 

With the spring of 2012, we had our tasting patio poured to match our driveway, and hosted our first WSCV mixer at our new bar. We were involved in the local wine walks and had our wines at Rosie's at the Beach. Our vineyard management program picked up with the Athena's Vineyard and Soli Deo Gloria vineyards. Traveling in Provence we decided to make a Rose for 2012, and crafted our Enchante from Rose we harvested from the Athena's vineyard. Noah and Joan made the first meads and we introduced them to our customers. 

Over the next years, we cellared and vinted our vintages, learning from each one and expanding our volume and the varietals along the way as we expanded our vineyard portfolio. We decided to be open both first and third weekends, and have built a loyal following, leading to this spring being open every weekend.

 We've met many good people, have developed staff and colleagues who have helped us and have continued to upgrae our facility with recent renovations to our patio cover and expanded bar. We look forward to the future.

 

Time Posted: May 23, 2015 at 7:29 PM