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Friday, February 3, 2012

The End of Another Year

We're a full month into the New Year and I have decided it is time to wrap up last year, finally. What took me so long ?

In my last entry I talkd about our first crush, and for the most part you would think that would have wrapped up the year's events, but what it did was put in motion the requirements of the upcoming year. Crushing grapes is exciting once you get beyond the mess you make trying to become efficient with new equipment. It is the time when you begin to see the "fruits of your labor" in cliche terms. Of course it is apt to be topped by cracking open that first bottle of wine and finding out if all the time and labor transfers into a remarkable wine. We'll keep our fingers crossed on that one.

Diane was able to jump into the role as winemaker. It was the rude awakening that made everyone realize that this is what it was all about, and that the ball is now rolling and can't be stopped. She has 3 different wines in the stainless tanks now. These tanks being set up in a temporary facility on the farm, recognizing that they will need to be moved when the official winery is built. But for now it'll do and will serve us well in the short term.

In our little winery we have tanks that will hold 2700 liters of wine, which is the equivalent of 3600 bottles of grape wine. Next year we have to consider a growth pop in production, since this was really our pre-harvest year to get the process moving along and work out any bugs.  Though these tanks aren't anywhere near filled to capacity, we will still need to add another 4 large tanks adding maybe 40,000 liters to our operation. We won't be providing all the grapes via our own vineyard; we will need to buy a few varieties from other vineyards in order to round out our product offering. Our personal output should grow 10 - fold however.

With all that being said, the emphasis immediately following getting the juice in the tanks to ferment was to locate some land where we can build our winery and accept this level of expansion. For reasons that are just too confusing to fully understand the logic, we need to build this winery on a location other than where we are in order to meet some government tax requirement. So Diane and I went looking at land once again knowing in a very short year we needed to get a winery built, fully equipped to handle the harvest in 2012, and get government bonded. A big task in such a limited period of time.

And this is where the hangup (or at least my excuse) as to why I have delayed in posting to this blog. I wanted to go out with a "to be continued" story where the new winery, and its location, would take center stage. You would think that buying raw rural land in a buyer's market would be a painless endeavor. I can flatten that theory easily, because we tried to buy two pieces of property only to find Seller's issues that couldn't be readily resolved. We submitted Purchase & Sales, started the negotiation process on 2 occasions only to have them fall through. It took months of our time to get no where.

It is now very early February and we still haven't closed on a property, but we have identified one which might work out very well for us. But the deal isn't closed yet and like they say: "It ain't over till the fat lady sings....".

The scheduled closing is next Tuesday. Details to follow !!!

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