A strange thing is happening inside the winery building… for the first time since we started this wild ride we seem to be caught up on winemaking tasks! The 2015 reds will be in bottle in the next two weeks, the 2016 rough blending will (probably) be done by the end of the month. Racking is complete on the 2017’s. We’re even starting to think about filtering and bottling the 2017 whites! Probably the best indication of this new level of organization is that I’ve been able to spend a couple of hours a day for the past week or so catching up on my magazine reading.
I subscribe to four magazines – “Wines and Vines”, “Wine Business Monthly”, “Wine Spectator”, and “Wine Enthusiast” – that help keep my head in the game as far as continually increasing wine quality and the guest experience in our Tasting Room. Unfortunately, for the past several years reading magazines has fallen to the bottom of the priority list. When I finally found time to attack the pile of past issues I discovered magazines dated April 2015! Anybody care about the 2014 California Crush Report? Me neither so my first task was to go through all of those back issues and tear out the interesting or still pertinent articles – a much more approachable task!
Now that we have a handle on the winemaking we’re turning our eye towards the Tasting Room, finishing some outstanding projects and working on the event calendar. I feel like we’ve made great strides in providing a fun, educational wine tasting experience but then I look around and see all of the progress other wineries have made and I know we need to continue to innovate and improve. It’s not really a competition and I’m honestly proud to be a part of our fellow Santa Clara Wineries and what we’ve become in just a few short years – but I still want to win!
So, until next month… time to get back to work!
In my daydreams May is the first of the “slack” months of summer, a time to take a deep breath, relax, and enjoy some time off before harvest. By this time of the year all of the spring winery-related activities – Racking, Bottling, Event Planning, etc – have been finished. Unfortunately this is just a daydream, the life of a young winery is a much different reality! We’ve made great progress, all of wine work is current and things are looking good. The spring bottling is pretty much done (shout out to Ruth and Jeff for their many hours of help!). Only three lots left to get into the bottle; Serenade (the successor to Prelude), Nocturne (the new darker red cuvée), and an LVD Wine Co Zinfandel. We’re just waiting on the labels to be printed and then we’ll get those three in bottle and be done with this year’s wines. Of course then we’ll need to get busy on blending the 2016 reds. If we can get that done in June we’ll be “caught up” for the first time…ever.
We’ve pretty much finished up the spring wine walk season with only the South Valley Wine Auction on the 11th remaining. Each year we try to do about four wine walks, two because they’re in our neighborhood (Gilroy and Morgan Hill), and two more to extend our reach into new areas. We’ve been moving northward, Campbell, Willow Glen, Saratoga but recently I’ve been thinking we need to look southward more – Hollister is happening y’all. Sadly we came to this realization on the exact day – last Saturday – that Hollister was holding it’s annual wine walk. Oh well, next year for sure.
The biggest thing we’re trying to catch up on is the overall events calendar. We’ve been promising classes, music, movie nights, etc but haven’t been really good on following through. We’re working hard this week to get all those dates figured out and people/space reserved. Look for a newsletter coming out next week that has the full plan for the rest of the summer. Another thing that will be in the newsletter is the announcement of our next Wine Club release which will be on June 9th. We’re a little thin on details right now but the newsletter should have all the info you’ll need.
The last big news for this month is that the Spring Rosé, our 2016 Rosé of Mourvedre will be released on Mother’s day weekend. This is a crisp, clean Rosé perfect for enjoying during a lazy afternoon around the pool. It’s low(er) alcohol, only 12%, and sells for $24 a bottle ($19.20 for Wine Club members). We have less than 50 cases and expect it to sell out quickly so stop by soon and pick up your summer case.
The big news for April is the formation of a new group supporting the resurgence of Rhone varietals here in Santa Clara County. La Vie Dansante Wines is very proud to be a Charter Member of the GSM Rhone Society which also features Sarah’s Vineyard, Aver Family Wines, and Lion Ranch Vineyards and Winery. Normally “GSM”, when it pertains to wine, means “Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvedre”, a common blend in the south of the Rhone Valley. In this case “GSM” stands for “Gilroy, San Martin, and Morgan Hill”. Yeah, we think we’re pretty clever.
The GSM Rhone Society was formed as a mutual support society for wineries who are actively pushing the resurgence of Rhone grapes and wines in our valley. To be a member the focus of your vineyard or winery must be on the Rhone grapes and wines we make from them. You must also be actively promoting the varietals and those other wineries that make them. Basically you can be a member if when people think of your winery they immediately. There is also some talk of establishing a “quality mark” similar to the embossed keys you see on bottles of Chateauneuf du Pape or the rooster you find on bottle of Chianti.
Watch for the GSM Launch Party being held on at 5:30pm Wednesday April 25th at The Grapevine on Depot Street in downtown Morgan Hill. You’ll have a chance to meet all four winemakers and sample locally produced Rhone-style wines.
In the winery we’re crazy busy bottling wines to be released this fall. So far we’ve finished a Mourvèdre Rosé, the 2016 Roussanne, the 2015 Syrah, a bunch more Stage Right, and a little Chardonnay (for a friend). Still to go are the 2015 Serenade, the 2015 Nocturne, and possibly a little 2015 Zinfandel (under the LVD Wine Co label). This is also the time of year when we start talking to all of our Vineyard Managers, trying to pin down some prices and commitments on grapes. We’ve got our 2018 Production Plan all worked out but right now it’s just words on paper – time to start turning it into reality.
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.
6/9 – La Vie Dansante Wine Clubs Summer Wine Release. Saturday from 6pm to 9pm. Food, Music, and of course wine! Free for wine club members and their guests. No one under 21, no pets, and no outside alcohol please.
– Harvest Begins! –
9/8 – La Vie Dansante Wine Clubs Fall wine release and Harvest Party! Saturday from 6pm to 9pm. BBQ Food, Music by Eric Stone, a Grape Stomp and of course… more wine! This event is free for wine club members and members can purchase discounted tickets for guests. The Public is welcome, tickets are $30 each and will be available online as the date approaches.
– More Harvest, Eat, Sleep, Make Wine –
– Still Harvest, Eat, No Sleep, Make Wine –