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.
Ready…steady…go! The first of March is upon us and that, from our point of view, is the start of the “wine season”. March is the Wineries of Santa Clara Valley Passport which means we’ll be honoring your Passports any day we’re open – Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, even Monday for the whole month. April and May bring all of the wine walks, strolls…stumbles. We’ll be at the Gilroy Wine Walk, the Los Gatos Wine Walk, and probably (not certain yet) the Saratoga Wine Stroll. Check our events column on this page for more details.
It’s still all about bottling. We’re on our third of about twelve bottling days and the good news is we’ve finally got it wired. Filtration is smooth, bottling is quick – now it just putting 3,000 gallons of wine into bottles (about 15,000) of them at a pace of about 1,200 per day. If you’re a wine club member and you’re interested in helping out drop us a not at Info@LaVieDansanteWines.com and we’ll add you to our email list for helpers. It doesn’t pay much but it’s a lot of fun.
Today dawned sunny and warm. We know there’s more rain on the way, but just for a moment we can see the promise of spring. We feel rejuvinated, anything is possible, and everything is right in the world. This is a time of rebirth in the vineyards as the vines begin their annual cycle. We look to be about 4 to 6 weeks from budbreak but the cover crop is up and thriving so we should have flowers any day. This is a truly magical time of the year to stop by the tasting room and enjoy a glass of wine in the sunshine. Days like today are definitely on our list of top five reasons we love this life,
Rain. Rain, rain, rain. More rain. That’s what we’re looking at in February. Don’t get me wrong, I love the rain, and the vines need the water and cool weather, but this is getting ridiculous. At least the Tasting Room is warm and cozy so don’t let a little water scare you off. Stop by and hang-out. We’ll talk about food, music, wine… the rain, and get to know you better.
Since the vineyards are one big bog our focus for work in February turns indoors. We’re frantically working to perfect the 2017 white blends so we can get them to bottle. As soon as that’s done we’ll move to blending and bottling the 2016 reds. Our Tasting Room is closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays so we get two full days to concentrate on winemaking – we’re using every available minute.
We’ve also been working on the events calendar for the coming year. This month we have the next in our Wine Symposia series – “From Grape to Glass, a Wine’s Journey” where we’ll talk about the entire process making wine, from grape growing to bottling. With only 90 minutes it will be just an overview but it will give you a firm foundation in the processes behind what is in your glass.
In March we’ll once again celebrate the Wineries of Santa Clara Valley’s Spring Passport. Look for more information on their website and in our Tasting Room. The kick-off party is at Coyote Creek Golf Course on Friday March 1st and is well worth the extra $25 fee. On the 9th of March we’ll be headed north to the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds for the third annual Hop ‘N Vine event. This event brings together almost 30 wineries and over a dozen breweries along with food and merchandise vendors. This is always our favorite pouring event of the year. Tickets are available at the Hop ‘N Vine website. Finally on Saturday the 16th of March from 6pm to 9pm is our Spring Wine Club social. The plans aren’t fully developed yet but you can be sure Jeff will be cooking, and fun will be had.
There’s a lot going on this spring. As a reminder, we’re open during the week on Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays. Stop by and share a glass… or two.
Ah January, the time when a young winemaker’s fancy turns to… taxes. After three great months of concentrating on making the best wines possible we now shift gears and work on getting our books into the best shape possible before sending them off to the Accountant. I’ve told many people in the Tasting Room that winemaking is only about 20% of the job. Another 40% is running a small business (the other 40% is marketing and selling wine). Any small business will work you twice as hard as you expected before you began but running a winery is especially difficult because we deal in a controlled substance. This means lots of record keeping and forms to fill out each year. The first week of January we run a complete physical inventory that covers every drop of wine, piece of merchandise, or package of food. Everything has to be accounted for. Using the inventory we calculate the amount of Federal Excise Tax we need to pay (due 1/15), the amount of State Excise Tax (also the 15th), the State Sales Tax (1/31) and finally the State Usage Tax (also the 31st). In addition to the taxes we need to document every action taken in the winery during 2018 through TTB Form 5120.17 and BoE form 501-WG. Luckily we keep pretty complete records so most of this is just filling out the forms and making sure it all adds up in the end – still, it will take every minute of January to complete.
So all of the above is true but with one small caveat – we’ll definitely find the time to take care of the wines and even get a little bottling done. Our plan is to bottle the 2016 Grenache, 2017 Grenache Rose, and hopefully some of the 2017 whites before the end of the month.
Stop by and try the La Vie Dansante wines every Thursday through Monday from noon to 5pm.
We pour at “Blended, a Winemaker’s Studio” located on Dryden Ave east of Hwy 101 just north of Gilroy. Our weekend tasting fee, or when we pour as part of Blended, is $10 (refundable with the purchase of a bottle). On the weekdays we have no tasting fee.
3/01 – 3/31 – Wineries of Santa Clara Valley 2019 Spring Passport.
3/09 – Saturday, 2pm to 7pm – Hop ‘N Vine at the Santa Clara Fairgrounds. Tickets are $60 to $125 (VIP Pass) and are available at: www.hopnvinesj.com
3/16 – Saturday, 6pm to 9pm – La Vie Dansante Wines Spring Wine Club Release. Watch for more details as we get closer to the event.
4/13 – Saturday, 1pm to 5pm – Gilroy Wine Walk. Watch for more details as we get closer to the event.
4/18 – Thursday, 7:00 to 9:00 – Building the Perfect GSM, a Blending Seminar. Tickets are $45 each ($36 for Wine Club Members) and include a fun lecture, Q&A time, and two glasses of wine!
5/4 – Saturday, 1pm to 5pm – Los Gatos Wine Walk. Watch for more details as we get closer to the event.
5/18 – Saturday, 5pm to 8pm – South Valley Wine Auction at the Morgan Hill Community Center.
5/23 – Thursday, 7:00 to 9:00 – Wines of the Rhone Valley. Tickets are $45 each ($36 for Wine Club Members) and include a fun lecture, Q&A time, and two glasses of wine!
6/20 – Thursday, 7:00 to 9:00 – A History of Wine in the Santa Clara Valley. Tickets are $45 each ($36 for Wine Club Members) and include a fun lecture, Q&A time, and two glasses of wine!
7/18 – Thursday, 7:00 to 9:00 – Old World vs New World, a Study of Two /.Styles. Tickets are $45 each ($36 for Wine Club Members) and include a fun lecture, Q&A time, and two glasses of wine!
8/22 – Thursday, 7:00 to 9:00 – One Grape, 5 Styles – Syrah Around the World. Tickets are $45 each ($36 for Wine Club Members) and include a fun lecture, Q&A time, and two glasses of wine!
9/06 – 9/30 – Wineries of Santa Clara Valley 2019 Fall Passport.
9/19 – Thursday, 7:00 to 9:00 – Boutique Winemaking – How We Make Wine at La Vie Dansante Wines. Tickets are $45 each ($36 for Wine Club Members) and include a fun lecture, Q&A time, and two glasses of wine!
10/18 – Thursday, 7:00 to 9:00 – Boutique Winemaking – How We Make Wine at La Vie Dansante Wines. Tickets are $45 each ($36 for Wine Club Members) and include a fun lecture, Q&A time, and two glasses of wine!
11/15 – Thursday, 7:00 to 9:00 – Wine Faults and Flaws – Is it the Wine, or is it Me?. Tickets are $45 each ($36 for Wine Club Members) and include a fun lecture, Q&A time, and two glasses of wine!
12/07 – Saturday, 6pm to 9pm – La Vie Dansante Wines Spring Wine Club Release. Watch for more details as we get closer to the event.
12/20 – Blended’s Fourth Annual Holiday Party