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.
Whelp, it’s September and here we sit waiting for grapes. Normally by now this place is a beehive of activity. Fruit, starting with Viognier, begins landing during the first week of September and then really gets going with the Grenache and Syrah two weeks later. Unfortunately this has been a really cool summer – yes, I know there were our normal unbearably hot days in July and August, but overall we had quite a bit fewer of what we call “degree days”. Grapes ripen in two ways; first, sunlight brings flavor, and second, heat brings sugars. We’ve had great sunlight so we’re confident we’ll have exceptional flavors the year, the problem is the lack of heat. Grapes will ripen about 1% of sugar for every week that averages over 85 degrees. We want to harvest at about 24% sugar and we’re currently sitting at about 20%. That means we need about four more weeks of good heat, and we’re just not getting it this year. Don’t panic though. It’s farming and everything could change tomorrow. In the end everything will turn out ok, it’s just the impatient waiting that’s killing us.
We have two more movies in our fall series, “Airplane!” on the 14th and “Austin Powers, International Man of Mystery” on the 28th. These movie nights are turning out to be a lot of fun so don’t miss out on the last two of the season. “Curtain” will be about 7:45. There’s no admission charge and we provide the popcorn. You should bring a camping or beach chair (we have chairs but ours aren’t very comfortable), a jacket and/or blankets, and snacks if you want them. 21 and over only, no pets, and no outside alcohol please. Support your local winemaker and drink local.
There’s also two classes remaining in the summer series, “Boutique” winemaking on the 20th of September, and “Candle Making” on October 18th. Both classes are $45 per person but wine club discounts apply. You’ll receive a fascinating lecture, 2 glasses of wine, and in the case of the Candle Making class, your very own candle to take home with you. Tickets are available at our online wine shop or in the Tasting Room.
Can you believe we’re already in the last half of the summer? For us that means it’s time to start thinking about harvest – and the feelings of anxiety and panic that go with it. It’s still a little early to start cleaning and actually preparing for grapes so there’s not a lot for us to do besides sit around worrying. Worrying about grapes – are my growers going to come through with what I need (and how in the world will we pay for them)? Worry about supplies – yeast, tannins, acid, cleaners, etc. Worry about staffing – will we have people to help process the fruit? Worry about events – Harvest Party, Passport, Movie Nights, Classes. For us August is the most stressful time of the year. You can see all the work coming but there’s nothing you can do to get a head start! But don’t panic. By next month everything will fall into place, it always does, and we’ll be happily working to produce the sixth (!) vintage of La Vie Dansante Wines.
We’ve really started to up our events games with movie nights – The Princess Bride and Top Gun – and classes – Wines of the Rhone; Our Inspiration – this month. We have our first Harvest Party scheduled for early next month which means lots of recipe testing and preparation in August. We’ve also tried to step up our Tasting Room experience during the week. Traffic is still slow but it’s starting to build and we want to be sure our guests have a fantastic visit when they stop by mid-week.
It’s a busy time, but it’s an exciting time. We feel like kids and it’s only six weeks until Christmas!
Happy 4th of July everyone! Can you believe the year is half over? It doesn’t seem possible but the growing grape clusters and the fact I just closed fiscal week 26 in the books say it must be so. There’s lots going on around the winery these days as we settle into being open five days a week. Thanks to all of you wonderful people who enjoy our wines and like to come hang out with us we continue to grow and expand. I firmly believe a “real” winery is open at least every weekend and preferably all seven days. I knew moving to five days a week would be a bit taxing on my time but the payoff is a little extra business and the ability to connect one-on-one with our weekday guests. It’s definitely been a win for us so now I’m starting to think about how to be open those other two days. What does all of this mean? La Vie Dansante Wines is looking to hire our first (paid) employee. I’m not sure how it’s going to work, but I know it has to happen. I’m currently writing the job description which will include working in the Tasting Room and driving our Social Media campaigns. If you know anybody looking for a part time, low paying, hard working position in a beautiful location let me know.
As part of being a “real” winery I’m re-committing (is that even a word) to our events calendar. Look for more info on the “Events” tab of this website and on our Facebook and Instagram pages. We’re finally going to begin those movie nights and wine classes. We’re also looking forward to hosting a couple candle making classes this fall.
Saturday, September 8th from 6 to 9pm will be La Vie Dansante Wine’s first Harvest Party! We have a fantastic band lined up, Eric Stone from Destin Florida, harvest games, and lots of food planned. The party coincides with our Fall Wine Club release so members will receive two complimentary tickets and have the ability to purchase discounted tickets for their friends – better yet, get your friends to join and they’ll get their own free tickets and I’ll increase your member discount by 5% for the next 12 months (up to a maximum of 15% total increase per year).
Lots of exciting things in the works so watch for the emails. Which reminds me… Wine Club members, did you know you can add additional email addresses to your account so everyone can be in the loop? Just drop me a note at “info@LaVieDansanteWines.com” with the address you’d like to add.
Time to get at it. Happy Fourth everybody, stay safe and have a great holiday.
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’d like to visit us on a Tuesday or Wedneseday give us a call at (408) 852-0779 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for an appointment.
September: Harvest Begins!
9/8 – Saturday 6pm – La Vie Dansante Wines Fall Wine Club 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 La Vie Dansante 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.
9/14 – Friday 6pm – La Vie Dansante Wines Movie Night; Airplane! – “Doors” open at 6pm, “Curtain” rises at dusk, approximately 7:45pm. Popcorn for free, wine for purchase. Please; 21 and over only, no pets, and no outside alcohol.
9/20 – Thursday 6:30pm – La Vie Dansante Wines Wine Symposium; Boutique Winemaking . Tickets are $40 per person (wine club discounts apply) and cover six wines for tasting, and a 90 minute talk about how wine is made at La Vie Dansante Wines. Learn the basics of garage style winemaking by getting up close and personal with an actual harvest. This class will be taught on the crushpad and in the winery so bring a light jacket – it can get chilly, even in September.
9/28 – Friday 6pm – La Vie Dansante Wines Movie Night; Austin Powers, International Man of Mystery. “Doors” open at 6pm, “Curtain” rises at dusk, approximately 7:30pm. Popcorn for free, wine for purchase. Please; 21 and over only, no pets, and no outside alcohol.
October: More Harvest, Eat, Sleep, Make Wine!
10/18 – Thursday 6:30pm – La Vie Dansante Wines Wine Symposium; Candle Making Class. Tickets are $40 per person (wine club discounts apply) and cover a glass of wine and instruction and hands-on experience in making the candles we sell in the Tasting Room. Learn the technique and science behind creating the perfect candle and then take yours home with you!
November: Still Harvest, Eat, No Sleep, Make Wine!
12/8 – Saturday 6pm – La Vie Dansante Wines Winter Wine Club Release. Stay Tuned for more information as the date approaches.