Sunday, November 1, 2009

Hi all

Well its been quite a busy Fall.

The 2009 Wine: All the fermentations, rose and red, are complete.

The rose for this year will be a blend of 60% Grenache and 40% Cinsault. A little different from last year (60/40 the other way), but the fruit this year from the two varieties seems to want to play nicer together in a little more grenache-dominant mix. Flavors and color will be very similar to the 2008, so I hope those who purchased the 2008 will come back for this one.

The Cotes du Rhone red is a wee bit better this year - the fruit quality is up, so there will be a bit more structure and roundness this year. I am sticking with the blend of 10-15% barrel aged and the rest tank aged -its the way to go for a fruit-forward food-friendly wine.

The reserve wine - 100% barrel aged (12 months) 100% grenache for 2009 is going to be great. This year's old-vine fruit is really going to lend itself well to barrel aging, so I expect this one to be a real 'keeper'.

By the way - I just re-tasted the 2008 Old Vine Reserve, and it is really coming around. I think this will be really special. I plan to bottle this at the same time I bottle the rose - probably in January. But, with only one barrel - 300 bottles - it won't go far. I will probably only have enough for few select clients here in France.......and of course my friends who come to visit!!

The vineyard: Things in the vineyard are pretty quiet. With the harvest completed, its time to turn to preparing for winter: digging up the plants which have died; winter pruning; plowing to ensure good moisture retention. I have started the up-rooting process - looks to be about 400 plants to do again this year, so this will take me into December to finish.

I am going to start tackling dead vines in the "Old Vine' vineyard behind the winery this year - perhaps do 1/2 this year and 1/2 next. I had left this alone last year. The plant spacing is much closer than in the rest of the vineyard, and I was reluctant to embark on pulling these vines until my skill with the back-hoe improved. I have a MUCH better feel for it now, we go.

Wine Sales


The 600 bottles of 2008 red which I shipped to Noble Wines is SOLD OUT - - IN ONE MONTH !!

I can't believe how well you foll0wed my instructions !!! Jeez Louise..when I worked at Boeing, people NEVER followed my direction this well.....hmmm.... must be the alcohol.....GOOD JOB !!

As many of you know, my very very very good friend Tamara Murphy, of Brasa Restaurant and The Elliott Bay Cafe, hosted a "Launch Party" for the 2008 Cotes du Rhone red last week. What a great turn-out and show of support from all of you....Tamara and Naomi Smith from Noble Wines had arranged for Tam to sell 30 boxes of the Cotes du Rhone....and she sold it all!!! (sorry for the rationing).

And even I made it to town ( of course for an ego stroke like that, how I could possibly have missed it, right) It was great to see so many of my friends who have come to share the adventure with me...old ones (like the group here that goes back 20+ years) and new ones. Thanks to all of you for joining us. Hope you had as good a time as I did.

The GOOD NEWS is that Noble Wines - based on your loyalty - has placed an order for another 1200 bottles. These are to be shipped within the next few weeks, and should arrive around year-end...SO KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK !!!!


All for now - I need to get out and pull up vines before the rains. Will let you know when the wine is on its way.

Thanks to you all for your support.

Be good out there.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Hello Again...

More news from the south of France.....HARVEST !!!!

As I mentioned in my last posting, it looked as though harvest was going to be early. WELL I was certainly right about that.....WE ARE FINISHED ALREADY - - 2-3 WEEKS EARLY!!!

We started with a small crew (5 people) picking the rose grapes (cinsualt and grenache) on Thursday, the 21st of August, and finished on Friday the 22nd. Because it has been so hot in the afternoons, we only picked in the mornings (3 hours/day). That way the fruit came into the winery cool - which is perfect for making a rose.
The following week (last Tuesday - the 25th) we started with the bigger job of picking the red - which is really the balance of the grenache in the vineyard. We upped the crew size to 17 for the job, and started picking that morning. By working all day Tuesday, we were able to finish the vineyard by early afternoon on Wednesday the 26th - about 1/2 day quicker than I had planned - what a crew (as you can see) !!!!
It is tradition to share a brief repas after harvest....a min-celebration of finishing 'vendange'. Needless to say, they all earned it. The juice is now burbling away turning into wine. The rose's (the cinsault and grenache are fermenting separately) are nearly all done. And the reds (one cuvee of old vines and one of the rest) are coming along nicely. Harvest this year is going to be a bit larger than last...and the fruit quality is MUCH improved. I am excited to see what we can do with what we've grown.......we'll see.

AS for sales...things have been slow recently. But I keep looking for the next opportunity to showcase the wine and get people to try it...not in a panic quite yet.

Which brings me to you-all. I know how you all are real excited about me 'living the dream' over here..and hope I am going to be successful.......if for no other reason than to have someone over here to come visit!!!

WELL - here's your chance to help. As you know I sold a small amount of wine to Noble Wines, Ltd. of Seattle - a local distributor/importer. The wine is due to arrive in Seattle in the next 10 days, and should be available shortly thereafter in local wine shops. And that's where you come in:
To make sure its a success - it needs to sell..which means the shops need BUYERS - like YOU!

So here's what I want you to do:

First - -You go to your local wine shop and ask for the wine by name: "Mas de la Lionne Cotes du Rhone" . Tell them you want to buy 2or 3 bottles - that way they will order a 6-pack (which is how it is being marketed). The more wine shops the better.

Next - - you each tell 2 friends to go and do the same...and then have them tell 2 friends...and have them tell 2 friends.........well - you get the idea.

Before you know it, there will be a virtual run on the wine, and they will have to come back to me for more..and then I will be successful..and then I will still be here NEXT YEAR WHEN YOU WANT TO COME VISIT!!!

Like the guys in the Blue Diamond Almond and Bartels & James commercials used to say:


And I thank you for your support.

I think that's it for now..I need to get back out into the winery and look after the juice.

Be good out there.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Hi All

Its been a busy month since my last report...Lots going on!

VINEYARD - The grapes are coming ripe very quickly - looks like its going to be a good harvest - fruit is nice and healthy..and plentiful this year.

As we did last year, we'll pick the cinsault and a corresponding amount of grenache first - to make the rose (it gets picked, crushed and immediately pressed - then fermented as though it were a white wine...slow and cool.) Then come back about a week later and pick the rest of the vineyard - all grenache - to make both the Cotes du Rhone red as well as try again to make a special cuvee. As you remember, I only ended up with 1 barrel of the special cuvee from last year - I needed the rest to help the Cotes du Rhone.

Anyway - with the hot weather and lack of rain over the last month or so, its looking like we could start as early as before end of the month (more than a week early) - and finish about 10 days later.

WINE - Sales are going pretty well - I have sold all but about 8 cases of the rose (out of 75) and have been able to sell about 150 cases of the red here in France, and of, course I sold the 50 cases to Seattle. So its been a good start.

By the way - tell all your friends - the wine: 'Mas de la Lionne 2008 Cotes du Rhone' is in Noble Wines, Ltd. catalog - so stores, etc. can start asking for it. The wine is due to arrive the first week of September - a mere 3 weeks from now.

Keeping with sales news, I think I mentioned that I was going to participate in the medieval fair in Chateauneuf-du-Pape, which occurred over last weekend (8-9 August). It was their 25th 'Fete de Veraison' - the celebration of the town founding in the 14th century.

Well I did it. I put up a stand, and set out my wares, and offered tastes and bottles.....and surprisingly I got a pretty good reception - for being the new guy on the block, and for not offering a Chateauneuf-du-Pape or Tavel of Gigondas (i.e. big name) wine. ( I know, I know...signage needs work - not enough of a draw- need banners...another lesson for next year!)

We poured about 50 bottles of wine (1/2 red and 1/2 rose) for tasting. And, with the help of my neighbors' son Simon, we sold about 20 cases - also about 1/2 rose and 1/2 red.

MOST importantly - I got the name out to a very large audience - GREAT PUBLICITY!!

I think that's it from here for now. Need to go start getting ready for vendange - lining up the people, checkout the equipment, get supplies (yeast, etc), clean barrels......its coming soon!

More once we get through vendange.

Be good out there.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Hello to all.

Been way too long since my last posting, but I have had company for the last month or so, and I have been busy both in the vineyard and in the winery. Anyway - that's my excuse...and I'm stickin to it.

So - this time I have some good news and some better news!!

First - The Vineyard - The vines are growing like crazy!! Its been very warm (95+ ) and with the occasional thunderstorm the vines have really taken off. We have had to go out and do more pruning - of the low-lying shoots to get them up off the ground - thank you Terry and Kathryn!! And even with that, the vines are still running wild.

The fruit set for this year looks very good, and with the mildew prevention I have been doing, it looks like it will be a good crop. Come September, I would guess we'll have about twice the yield we had last year; or about 130 hectoliters - should be enough for 18,000 bottles. That is about normal for the vineyard, so this year's crop is doing great.

House - nothing new to report. The guest room seems to be working just fine, as my latest guests were with me for quite a stretch ( 5 weeks) and didn't complain once. And we all figured out how to share the one bathroom. I got the screens up on all the windows and doors, so the bug problem from last year is not an issue...and with the hot weather having them all open has been a life saver.

Wine - Lots of news on this front.

First The Rose. As I mentioned in my earlier notes, I held the Open House back in April and sold about 1/2 the wine. Well, since then sales have been slower, but I am now down to the last 1/3 (25 cases). And I expect to be able to sell quite a bit of it next month (more on that later). So I am happy with the way things have progressed so far.

The Red. Well - the Open House I held early June to release the red did NOT go as well as I had hoped. While I had pretty good turn-out for the rose in April, the response to the red was like...nothin...I think I had about 8 people show up...Yikes!!!! Fortunately, follow-on sales have been OK. I have sold about 1000 bottles so far (out of 7500), so that's OK - not quite the "Run" I had hoped for, but not a bad start. And, again, with the event next month (see below) sales are going about as planned.

AND - THE GOOD NEWS !!!!! I got an order from Noble Wines Ltd., in Seattle for 50 cases!!! My first sale in the US!! The freight company is coming to pick-up the wine next week - with an expected arrival in Seattle in ASK FOR IT AT YOUR LOCAL STORE..."Mas de la Lionne 2008 Cotes du Rhone". If your store doesn't have it, ask them to get it from Noble - who distributes throughout Puget Sound.

And more news - every year in August, the town of Chateauneuf-du-Pape holds their 'Fete de Veraison', which is their celebration of the founding of the town back in the 14th century. Its a weekend affair where the entire town is turned into a medieval village, and they put on jousts, and parades, and musicales, etc. In addition, they have local artisans with small booths of handicrafts. And they have what they call the "Village de Vignerons" (wine village) - where local winemakers can pour and sell their wines - on the street. I was here last year in time to attend, and its a great weekend.

So - this year, I decided to see if I could get in...and they accepted me. So - I have a spot in the town that weekend (Saturday and Sunday), and will be pouring and selling the rose and the red wines. And with this being the 25th anniversary of the celebration, they expect 30,000 or so people...should be a great opportunity for exposure!! I am really looking forward to it, and will let you know how it goes!

Think that's all for now.

Be good out there.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Hi to all

Well, summer has come to the Cotes du Rhone. It has been mostly sunny for the last month - we got rain for a day last week - and the temperatures are rising. And with all the nice weather, the vines are growing very nicely. In the morning sun, as was pointed out to me, the vines almost glow.

So far this spring/summer we have done the spring pruning - l'ebourgeonnage - which is pulling the small suckers and noon-vertical shoots off. It also is the thinning in the middle to allow better air flow. You can see in the picture above how upright all the plants growing - that's the positive result.

Also, over the last 2 weeks...with a BIG help from friends - Thank you Tim and Melissa - the planting of all the new replacement plant - les petite plants - is now done - about 400 in total. We planted grenache, cinsault, mouvedre, and syrah. The grenache on the left was planted about 2 weeks ago, and you can see that it is coming right along. The blue mesh is to keep the rabbits away - just like we did for the small plants earlier in April. When the plants are this young,l it is REALLY important that the rabbits don't get to them to allow them to get a good start.

In the winery, sales are slow. Its not quite "Tourist Season" and the drive-by traffic is minimal. On a positive note, however, we did get all the Cotes du Rhone red wine bottled - about 600 cases.

It now sits quietly awaiting its official release, which I have set for the first Saturday in June (the 6th). I will be sending out an announcement, like I did for the rose, next week. Hopefully that will increase interest. Many of the Julien's previous customers were red wine buyers only, so I am hoping that will be the case again.

Also - we have NEW - MAYBE- GOOD NEWS!!!! Last month, when I was in Seattle, I met with a local distributor about importing the red wine into Washington. I am pleased to say that they liked the wine well enough to continue discussions on how we might do so. I have set aside some of the wine - without labels and capsules -(labels and capsules are different for the US than for in France) - until we can reach an agreement. BUT - it looks promising (thank you, thank you, thank you Tam) - and we could have wine into Seattle by the fall. Wouldn't that be cool!!!!!

Not much else to report for today. Its Sunday, so I am thinking about a drive down to the coast today - maybe Cassis - for some afternoon sun and a lovely seaside lunch.

You all be good out there.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Hi all

Here's the latest...good news and better news...from afar.


Got all the plastic rabbit protectors up. Julien was here today and we walked the vineyard and he pointed out to me where the rabbits were already winning - -turns out they also eat the teenage vines that are low enough to the ground for them to reach - but are too big for the plastic covers... looks like I will never have the upper hand - best to hope for is a draw. Got the place fertilized and judging ready to plant the new plants (about 350) when I return from Seattle at the end of the month.

The Wine: - - Good news - - -ITS COTES DU RHONE!!!! I finally received confirmation from the judging organization that the red wine meets their standards. So I can label it and sell it as 'Cotes du Rhone' and not Vin de Table (which is worth like about 2 EURO per bottle). So we will bottle the red at the end of April and have it ready to sell in June per plan.

OPEN HOUSE: - - Better News - - We are now officially OPEN for business. The sign went up this morning, and what a morning it sky, no clouds, no wind and slated to hit about 70 degrees!!

And, as some of you know today was also the "Portes Ouvertes" (Open House), for which I had sent out about 200 'invitations.
I really had no idea what to expect in terms of attendance. I had never done one of these before. I held a "First Release" party at Brasa for my first Graves Cellars wine, but that was inviting friends to come celebrate. This was my first time at something like this aimed at the marketplace. And, its not the kind of thing that people would RSVP to, so I really wasn't sure whether I would see 5, or 50 or 200 people. So I laid out the caveau to receive folks, and put out some things for people to nibble on if they saw the need (cheese, bread, olives, tapenades, bruschetta), opened the door at 2:00 pm and waited to see.

People starting showing up right away. For the next three hours or so it was a fairly constant stream of folks - most were old customers of Julien's, but some were new, and they all seemed interested in the wines - both the rose that was for sale and the red that I was offering for tasting, but wouldn't be available until June 1. I suspect there was on the order of 150 people who came by.....and most bought something!!!

At the end of the day, I tallied things up: 48 boxes ( 6 per box) of rose (out of a total of 145) sold. AND, since I was offering to take "Orders" for the red in advance of its release in June- at a slightly reduced price- I 'Sold" about 35 cases (400 bottles) already. All in all, it was a VERY good day!!

Personal Note: - - Also Good news - - Got my permanent Carte de Sejour last week - so I am now fully street legal for 1 year!! Another major hurdle overcome.

All for now..think I'll go buy myself a glass of wine to celebrate.

Be good out there.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Hi all

Its been about six weeks since last I updated you all, so I have a number of things to let you know about.

House: Absolutely nothing new.....have been totally focused on the vineyard and the wine, and have spent no time at all even thinking about the house. And, lets face it, I spent more than I had planned to get it into shape, so I am just going to live with it 'as is' for now. And since there is really nothing major left to, I'll just pick away at the details. Of course this is another way of telling you that the house IS ready for company.....hint. Spring has started to arrive, and with it some of the trees have started to show it, so things are starting to get pretty as the weather warms up.

Vineyard: We finished the winter pruning, and the digging-up of the dead vines over the last couple of weeks. We did a fairly heavy pruning this year (as you can see by comparing the two photos). Notice how the result does look like a goblet - hence the name.

I still have not quite mastered the multi-hand coordination doesn't exactly match with the professionals!! So it takes me a bit longer...but I did get about 350 plants pulled up...ready for replanting next month.

We will fertilize next week, and then start the spring / summer plowing program (once a month or so until July).

WINE: Bigger news on the wine. As I told you last time, the rose had passed through the 'judging' without any issues, and was ready for bottling. But we missed the window of bottling truck availability and had to reset until mid-March. Well - we got it done yesterday! We bottled all the rose (about 900 bottles), with labels, and boxes, etc. So we have wine to start selling.

I am actually quite happy with the way in which the rose turned out. It is a very nice, dry, yet fruit-forward combination of cinsault and grenache. With its very salmon-pink coloration, it is really quite nice.

We also bottled about 650 bottles of the red, but without labels or capsules. We still have not resolved whether the red will be a Cotes du Rhone wine or a Vin de Table. But, in the interest of getting the bottling folks to do the job for me, I needed more than just the small amount of rose to make it worth their while. And, in bottling without label or capsule, the wine can be labeled for whatever its future use - including potentially exporting to the US (hint to Tamara..).

And I can also use it for the Open House - New Release party which I am holding on the first Saturday in April. I sent out about 250 invitations to M.Marignane's previous customers, friends, winemakers, etc. I am looking forward to seeing what the reaction is...."Portes Ouvertes" are not typically done here, but it seemed like a great way to get the name out there, and to let people know the domaine was back open for business......we'll see.........

Personal: I received a preliminary, temporary 'Carte de Sejour' residency card!! It is good until mid-May. The real one I should get as soon as I get a physical this week - just another in the long list of things required..which seem to crop up one at a time. The last latest wrinkle was that they needed a copy of my Birth Certificate, which of course I had to send away to get...always something. But at least now I am street legal and can come and go from France without issue!!

That's all for today - I need to get out into the vineyard and get the netting up on the small plants...they are a favorite food for the local rabbits (les lapins) who eat the new growth (yum) and stunt the ability of the plant to develop. So we put a stake into the ground at the side of the plant, and then wrap the stake/plant in a plastic mesh ...makes them into 'look but don't eat' .

Be well out there.

Friday, January 30, 2009

HI All

Another couple-three weeks have gone by. And I have some so-so news and some so-so news.

The Wine:

So, it turns out that here in the Cotes du Rhone they take their wine pretty seriously. Here, to get the head-nod to call your wine a "Cotes du Rhone" wine, every year you must submit samples to the local CDR office where they analyze AND TASTE the wine to determine whether or not it meets their standards. If they don't think it meets their standards, then you cannot call it a 'Cotes du Rhone' - it is only a "Vin de Pays". This can have significant impact on the price you can charge, as Cotes du Rhone does carry a certain cache.

Per the rules, I sent them a notification 10 days prior to bottling, so they could come sample. Well - they came early this week (2 days before bottling day) to collect the samples...and then I had to wait for the results:..tension, tension,, with my consultant oenologist, we called and got the results:

The ROSE passed with flying colors (got an "A" score).

The RED , however, did not quite meet their standards and received a "B" score.

That means that I can resubmit for further analysis/testing if I choose. We knew we were close, so while not a surprise, it is a bit of a disappointment. And it isn't a big deal to fix - it just means we have to make a couple of minor adjustments to get it right - which I will do next week - and then resubmit.

BUT - in the mean time, I missed the bottling window I had set for this week. And the next opportunity to bottle is not until March 16!!! The truck is tied-up until then. Now it looks as though I will still have wine to bring back to Seattle in April for Linda's dinner, etc., but just barely!

The Vineyard:

Winter pruning is almost done - we should finish next week. And the pulling up of the old dead vines is on-going - I am about 25% there - have been focused on the wine and on 'raking' the dead wood from the pruning.

I had an 'almost' thing today.Was out raking the cut-off dead wood using the big red tractor with a claw attachment. An at the end of every row, you take the stuff you've raked and put it onto a pile for burning. Had been doiing this all morning, and the last couple of days, so I was feeling pretty conficant in my ability to cruise around on the tractor and get this done.

Well at the end of one of the rows, as I was turning to go up the little incline, the throttle stuck on me and the tractor decided to pull a 'tractor wheelie'...not a fun thing on something that big!!! I thought for sure that it was going to go over on its back! Only by quickly hitting the clutch, did I get the front wheels back on the ground.

Unfortunately, in rearing up like that it put excessive force on the framework that supports the claw attachment, and I bent a couple of pieces......Tractor Repair!!! Fortunately I called my friend Thierry, - my all-around mechanic ( thank you Jean Marie) who came over this afternoon - scoped it out - and told me he could have it fixed by Wednesday!! So I only lose a few days.....and add several new grey hairs.

Home Front:

I heard this week (after my accountant and I visited and called them) that my Carte de Sejour (residency card) was on hold because the tax administration didn't think that the winery would make enough profit to support me...yup - knew that. With the help of my accountant, we submitted more info to them that showed my Boeing pension, and the winery business plan...and that seemed to suffice. However - my VISA expired this month...and I don't yet have my Carte de Sejour, so I am only sorta street legal..need to watch my driving, etc.

I think that's it for now. Will let you know the results of the re-submit of the red...and how we finish up with pruning.

Be good to each other.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Hi All

Just a quick note:

Well - Winter has REALLY arrived here in the South of France. This started just this morning (it had been forecast) and we've got about 2" so far - with maybe a total of 4-6" by the time its done today/tonight. We will have to delay the winter pruning for a couple of days, but this is a fleeting thing (rain and then sun to return by Friday).

But - for those of you who were wondering...YES it does snow here! And because it happens so infrequently, the drivers here are no better than in took me 2 hours to get back from the 'mall' at noon. But it is really pretty.

Next up after pruning will be bottling the Cotes-du-Rhone red and rose - in about three weeks. More from me again when we're done.

Be well out there.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Happy New Year to you all!!

Sorry I haven't written more often, but the time just has gotten past me. I realized yesterday that it was exactly 6 months ago I got the keys to this place....WOW - a lot has happened in that time: a new start for me here in France; a "new start" for the economy (too bad it had to go back to square 1.!! - can't go anywhere but up from here, right?), a new start to the US political climate (about time too, huh!?!). A lot has happened.

Hope you all had a great Holiday Season - mine was wonderful - went back to Seattle for a week and got to spend time family and friends...too short but felt good to get back here - to what is now home.

A friend recently asked me whether or not this was all I had hoped for. As I told her, in many ways it is and in a few it is not. I don't think you really ever know how its going to just leap into it and let it happen....which is really what I did. I mean, after all, I only found this place a year ago..and here I am!

To answer her question...How is it?...its great, good, fine, OK, not bad. All some level of positive, but not all over-the-top...................

The people here have been fantastic to me - they have all gone out of their way to make me feel comfortable - every where I turn people are willing to help - more than I expected.

The 'farm' is taking more work than I anticipated, and I am needing to find help ( and spend $) to make sure I am doing the right things. Again, everyone I ask is forthcoming, its just I don't always know what to ask. I had expected some of this, just not to the extent it has become necessary.

The Winemaking is as expected - just a larger scale (10,000 bottles vs 1000). So there are no issues there (other than finding sources for materials - no Boeing Winemakers' Club to call for help).

The house remodel has gone better than I expected - Michel has proven to be a first-rate contractor, and between himself and his contacts I have been able to get anything I need done pretty quickly. With apologies to Peter Mayle, you can get word done here on-time and at a reasonable price.

Finally, on the personal side, I am finally settling. As most of you know I retired from Boeing in May after 34 years to set off on this adventure, and then spent the next 2 months getting ready to get here; and then the next 2 months getting settled (vineyard, winery, house remodel...all the usual things). So - its only been in the last month that I have really had a chance to catch my breath and start thinking about what I got myself into.

I must say that the one thing I am missing is the 'constant incidental' interaction with people - the socialization that came both with the job and with my friends in close proximity. Living as I am now in a rural environment - where my nearest neighbors are really a vineyard away - interaction is limited, particularly since this is a family-owned 'wine-farmer' community. People her tend to keep to themselves. So you really have to be outgoing. And my French language skill, while improving, is still not enough or me to feel comfortable just striking up a conversation with strangers...I am more than a little intimidated....yet. My New Year's resolution is to work on this.....go to town for coffee more mornings and just strike up conversations.....and just get out there........well...maybe....

But all things considered, it IS the right thing for me to have done. I am still very excited about it. AND - with the wine getting close to release, I know I will start having more and more visitors / clients, and it will be great.

And now that I have heard from a number of you that perhaps you will come visit....I have to wonder whether I have created a monster - Everyone wants to come at once....How will I keep you all entertained... What will I do when more than a few of you want to come at the same can I say 'NO'??!! Will I have to move out or sleep in the winery to make room...?!?!?? BUT Never Fear - I have a PLAN - I am starting a calendar. And so take this as a hint to get your reservations in early, cause I can only take a few at a time...and first come first served!!!

Have to run - we start winter pruning this week, and I have a few clean-up things to do before we start.

Be good to each other, and be well.