La Vie Dansante is a boutique winery crafting wines of elegance and finesse from locally-grown Rhone varietals such as Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre, Roussanne, and Viognier. Our wines are truly hand-crafted – if you find a fingerprint on the bottle it likely belongs to the winemaker! We offer wine tasting on Monday, Thursday, and Friday as well as the weekends as part of Blended, a Winemaker’s Studio located just east of the Gilroy Premium Outlets. Come, escape to the country, and join us for a glass of our exceptional, award winning wines.
Well, it’s September, and here we sit. It’s been a craaazy lead-up to harvest. TASS has officially ldft the building to begin their new life as “Cinnabar Winery”, and Medeiros Family will be leaving at the end of this month to move to thier new winery in the Sierra Foothills. Our winery is transitioning from packed to the ceiling to almost empty – which is fantastic for La Vie Dasante Wines because we have big plans than need more space. Facebook and Instagram followers as well as email subscribers can expect a full rundown on the changes in the next week or so. For the purposes of this update just realize the buidling is in a state of chaos…during the busiest time of the year!
Adding to the chaos is our desire to help out some of our fellow winemakers who have suddenly found themselves homeless right as harvest begins. There are three wineries who strangely enough each have their own tasting rooms but have no place to make wine in 2019. To help them over this speedbump we’ll be opening our doors to them for the next 90 days or so. With two wineries leaving, and three wineries temporarily moving in we expect to spend much of this harvest laughing at the spectacle.
Speaking of harvest…still no grapes. I’ve been saying all along that this has been a really cool summer and that harvest looks to be about three weeks behind, and here is the proof. Normally Viognier would already be through fermentation and into a barrel but this year we don’t expect to even see the fruit for at least another week. On one hand we need the time for the transition, but on the other hand we’re going crazy sitting around waiting. Ah well, farming.
This summer we started a summer music series which has been well received. Our plans for next year include a Spring, a Summer, and a Fall music series of eight weeks each. We’re looking for sponsorship for these three series (shout out to Fred “Sonny” Dimeo Insurance for sponsoring this summer’s series). Stop by or drop Jeff an email if you’re interested in this co-marketing opportunity.
We’re also looking to begin hosting a small number of very intimate evenings with special artists on our stage. The first of this series is “Stories” with Austin Freeman on Saturday, September 21st. You can find more information in the column to the right —>
And just like that… it’s the beginning of harvest. No, fruit isn’t suddenly ripening and arriving on the crush pad, I mean it’s time to start prepping the facilities. Everything needs to be cleaned and organized to make room for fermentation. New equipment is arriving (!). Grape contracts need to be confirmed, vineyards need to be visited. Alerts just started popping up on my calendar reminding me to inventory all of our supplies and order things we’ll need in the next 90 days. This time of year is exciting… and terrifying! Too much to do and not enough hours in the day.
At the same time it’s our last chance to take a few hours off and enjoy the summer. Time to get to the dog park with Noe while it’s still light late. It’s hard because even when we force ourselves to take a few hours off we feel the weight of the impending harvest bearing down on us. Of course, it’s not our first rodeo, we know it always feels like this and that we’ll get through it, probably even better than last year. Harvest is what we live for!
To make the season a little more exciting this year La Vie Dansante Wines is headed into what (we hope) is a rapid growth phase. With the departure of our friends at TASS we’ve decided the time is right for us take over their space and move Blended, a Winemaker’s Studio to only two brands. It’s always been our desire and plan to eventually have the facility to ourselves. This is maybe a little ahead of schedule but “a faint heart never won a fair lady…” and La Vie Dansante Wines is definitely the lady of my life right now. (Oops, sorry Noelani). To make this work we’ll be improving our production facilities with some new equipment to allow us to make more wine with less effort. It should improve our wine quality, our mental state, and take some of the load off of our aging bodies. We’re also looking to hire our first “real”, as in “paid”, employees and move to being open seven days a week. To round out our offerings in the Tasting Room you can expect to see us release our first Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, and Sauvignon blanc in the coming months under the LVD Wine Company label.
Change is good and we’re very excited about all the new things we’ll have to offer our wine club family, but we won’t be straying from our “rustic chic” style. We like the little oasis of calm we’ve built in the Gilroy countryside and have no plans to do anything too fancy, just maybe add a little polish. And we can’t imagine the day when you won’t be greeted by Jeff, the winemaker, and Noe, the brand ambassador, on your visit to the tasting room.
Here we are in the middle of summer and I feel like it’s still spring. The surprisingly cool summer probably has something to do with, that but more likely it’s due to how fast the days are flying by. Lots of new things happening around the winery – Movie Nights, Classes, and our new summer music series sponsored by Frederick Dimeo Insurance.
Summer bottling is also on our minds – we have 14 pallets of empty glass waiting to be filled with wine goodness as well as a bunch of cases from the last bottling that need to be labeled.
Pam’s Vineyard – where we get our ancient vines Carignane – is looking fantastic. It’s turning out to be a lot of work; spraying every 10 days, etc, but in the end it will all be worth the effort.
This is the time of the year we do a lot of work on wines, ensuring they’re maturing properly and are happy in their barrels. Of special note is the 2015 Syrah Reserve which we’ll be bottling very soon (if I don’t stick a straw in the barrel and drain it) and the Syrah Port which we think is just about there. The plan on the Port is to have the wine club taste it at the fall wine club social (September 7th at 6:00pm) and then bottle it around the first of December.
The movie series this summer is turning out to be a lot of fun. Our theme this time around is “Treasure Hunting Adventure”. The June movie was “Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark”, the upcoming July movie is “The Mummy” – the cool one with Brendan Fraser, not the sucky one with Tom Cruise. It’s Friday, July 26th at about 8pm. Join us for a fun date night filled with action, adventure, popcorn and good wine.
Stop by and experience the wines of La Vie Dansante in our picturesque vineyard setting every Thursday through Monday from noon to 5pm.
Our “Country Chic” Tasting Room is located at 3200 Dryden Ave, east of the Premium Outlet Malls on Hwy 101, just north of Gilroy. We have a $10 tasting fee per person for a flight of at least five wines which is refunded with the purchase of one bottle.
We are dog friendly and children tolerant. We have small bites available for purchase in our Tasting Room.
9/06 – 9/30 – Wineries of Santa Clara Valley 2019 Fall Passport.
9/07 – Saturday, 6pm to 9pm – La Vie Dansante Wines Spring Wine Club Release and Harvest Barbeque. Music by Blue House.
9/15 – Sunday, 1pm to 4pm – Live music with John Turri
9/21 – Saturday, 6:30pm to 8:30pm – “Stories” with Austin Freeman. Join us for an intimate evening with rising star Austin Freeman and he shares the inspritation behind his soulful songwriting. Admittance is free but due to limited seating you must reserve a spot by registering at EventBrite. Sponsorship for this event is provided by Frederick H Dimeo Insurance Agency. Small bites will be provided by GVA Cafe in Morgan Hill. Wine will be available for purchase by the glass/bottle from La Vie Dansante Wines. This event will be professionally filmed for a future video release so if you’re on the run from the law or hiding from an ex… wear a hat.
9/22 – Sunday, 1pm to 4pm – Live music with Serenade
9/27 – Friday – Movie Night at La Vie Dansante Wines! Tonight’s show is Matthew McConaughey and Kate Hudson in “Fool’s Gold”. “Curtain” is at 7:00pm. The plan is to have the Tasting Room open from noon until the end of the movie. There’s no admission fee but we have a 2 glass (shared bottle between 2) minimun. We provide the popcorn and surprise movie treats. Older kids (PG13 movie) are ok, no outside alcohol but outside food is welcome. For evening events – no pets please.
9/29 – Sunday, 1pm to 4pm – Live music with Steve Chastain