Welcome to a brand new year! We’re back from a few days of relaxation and we’re ready to go.
January, at least the first part of it, is all about administrative stuff. Taxes – Federal and State Excise, State Sales, and State Usage – are all due this month as is all of our reporting to the government about the amount of wine we produced, sold, and consumed. Later this month we’ll sit down and go over the numbers and if it’s anything like last year it will resemble the four stages of grief: Denial – there’s no way we drank that much. Anger – How could you let me drink all the profits? Bargaining – Can I say we donated a bunch to charities to hide the loss from the accountant? Finally, Acceptance – Ok, what’s done is done we’ll just have to work harder this year (and not drink our own wine!).
This is also the time of year we put together our operational calendar – what we’ll be doing at the winery (or offsite) every weekend between now and the Holidays. Working and pouring at Blended, a Winemaker’s Studio makes this both more important and more difficult than it could be – there are two other wineries to deconflict with for Wine Club releases and such. Beyond the Wine Club there are Wine Walks and Strolls, Winemaker Dinners, Music, and classes to consider. It’s only the third day of the year and I already feel like we’re a month behind!
Finally (probably not, but I’m running out of space), there’s the Facilities work to consider. Last month we prepped the picnic area and seeded grass. Now the first rains have come and all of the gophers have emerged from wherever gophers go to celebrate their gopher holidays so we need to arms ourselves for the upcoming “battle of the grass”. So far we’re losing a bit, it’s 1 gopher caught, and 2 that got away. We’ll keep you posted on the results. One sure way to wine against the gophers is to lay down concrete pavers. The first load of what is supposed to be 15 tons (roughly 2,000 sqft) arrived last week and the next load is due this week. Our plan is to put down pavers on the approach to the Tasting Room, in the Outdoor Tasting Area, on the way to the Restrooms, and to build an area around the palm tree with a firepit and benches… right on top of that damned gopher that evaded me twice today.
Oh, and there’s that winemaking thing to do. I guess I best get at it!
I keep forgetting that December is the busiest time of the year for a winery. I get lost in the feeling that Harvest is in, all the wines are safe, and it’s time to finally relax. Then I realize we’ve got Holiday parties to plan, dinners to attend, music to arrange, and merchandise to build!
On the bright side I feel much more in control this year than in the previous two. The wines are all safely put away and slumbering away the winter. The Wine Club release went well and everybody is well-stocked on La Vie Dansante Wines for the holidays (although you could always use more!). We got the electricity put into the Tasting Room in time for all of the holiday light.
The Tasting Room is all warm, cozy, and decorated for the holidays and the weather is just perfect for celebrating. Remember last year when we thought we were going to drown? We had a bridge across the river in front of the Tasting Room so you could get through the mud. This year is the complete opposite – lots of sun, temperatures in the high 60’s and not a drop of rain so far.
Nothing left to do this year except celebrate! Join us on Friday, December 22nd from noon to 7pm for a glass of wine or hot chocolate, holiday goodies, and Christmas music. This is our favorite time of the year because it gives us a chance to just hang out and enjoy all of our new friends.
Stop by and try the La Vie Dansante wines every Saturday and Sunday 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 tasting fee is $10 (refundable with the purchase of a bottle).
If you work the weekends give us a call at (408) 852-0779 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for a weekday appointment.
1/27 – Blended, a Winemaker’s Studio Barrel Tasting Event. $20 per ticket, available in advance or on the day of the event. La Vie Dansante wines will be showing their 2015 Syrah, the follow-on to our wonderful 2014 release, as well as tasting the progress on our Syrah Port. In addition to each wine the winemakers will be providing a pairing and answering questions about their winemaking philosophy. Tickets available in the Tasting Room and online at: Blended Barrel Tasting
2/13 – “A History of Wine and Wineries in the Santa Clara Valley” – a wine class conducted by Jeff Fadness, CSW. Tuesday night from 6:30 to 8:30. Location TBD but either in the Blended Tasting Room or at GVA Cafe in downtown Morgan Hill. Tickets are $40 each and cover the lecture plus 6 large tastes of important local wines. Wine Club discounts apply.
3/02-04 – Wineries of Santa Clara Valley Spring Passport. This spring will be a little different with the Friday night tasting and food pairing event getting bigger and better… and moving north to Coyote Creek Golf Course. In addition this spring your passport will be good for the full month of March. Bring it to any participating winery anytime they’re open in March and receive your free tasting. La Vie Dansante plans to have food and music on March 4th and 5th only but will honor your passport any day we’re open in March. Tickets for Passport will be $45 for the month of tasting with an additional $15 charge ($60 total) for the Friday night event. The Friday event is not available separately.
3/10 – The second annual “Hop ‘N Vine” event at the Santa Clara Fairgrounds. This was a fantastic event last year and we’re thrilled to be returning. This event features over 20 Santa Clara Valley Wineries, nearly a dozen breweries, educational seminars, food, and music! This year it’s March 10th, from 2pm to 7pm (last pouring is at 6pm), Early bird tickets (before November 30, 2017) are $45, advance tickets (after November 30, 2017) are $55, and on the day of the event tickets will be $65. Check out the Fairgrounds website for more information and to purchase tickets.
3/13 – Wine Symposium presented by Jeff Fadness – Topic and location to be determined.
3/17 – La Vie Dansante Wine’s Spring Wine Club Release! It’s too early to guess which wines will be featured or what fun activity we’ll plan so stay tuned for further information.