In the February News post we mentioned a “big announcement” for March. Well, here it is… Beginning March 4th La Vie Dansante Wines will be open for Tasting five days a week from noon to 5pm. That’s right, you’ll be able to stop by and enjoy a glass or two of wine from Thursday through Monday. We’ll be closed on Tuesdays and Wednesday to allow us some time to get the rest of our projects done around the winery and hopefully enjoy a little down time. If all goes well we plan to hire a part time server to assist us later this summer and we’ll be able to be open daily.
But wait, there’s more! During Passport weekend – March 2nd, 3rd, and 4th – we’ll be releasing La Vie Dansante’s Barrel Aged Syrah and Champagne vinegars. Both of these are hand-crafted in the premium Orleans method and then allowed to age for a year in oak – new french for the Syrah, and neutral french for the Champagne. As lovers of anything pickled we have to say these are going be amazing in pickles, a vinaigrette, or just plain on veggies.
Also happening in March is the La Vie Dansante Wines Spring Wine Club release party which will be held March 17th from 1pm to 4pm. Yes, that’s St Patrick’s Day, and No, we won’t be coloring the wine green. The 17th will be the release of La Vie Dansante’s first every Viognier. We were coerced into opening a bottle last week and it is simply delicious. We’re planning to have food and some live music so be sure to join us for this fun event.
On the winemaking front we have a ton of bottling to do. Basically, all of the 2015 Reds, the 2016 Roussanne, the 2017 Rose, more Stage Right, and even a little Chardonnay for a friend. Anybody interested in working on the bottling line (it pays Pizza and wine) drop a note to Jeff at Jeff@LaVieDansanteWines.com – we can always use another pair of hands.
When I was first thinking about starting up a winery we thought “what a great job, you work hard from March through December and then you get to take three months off”. Boy, were we wrong. Really wrong. We sat down at the beginning of February and put together a detailed project list for the upcoming year. Everything from finishing the Tasting Room to creating an entertainment calendar. I wanted to capture ALL of the upcoming projects so that nothing could slip through the cracks. Well, two problems; first, we did a GREAT job on the list – something like 125 projects – second, all of the projects seem to have a due date of “Before the first of March”. Why? Check out the News for March and see our big announcement.
So this month, after a bunch of organizational stuff, boils down to a ton of physical labor. We plan to completely dismantle and refinish all of the picnic tables, complete the small patch of pavers in front of the Tasting Room, finish the gaming area, make food and soft drinks available in the Tasting Room. Then there’s the winemaking stuff; a vineyard to prune, wines to blend, vinegar to bottle, labels to design an get approved… you get the idea. What we thought was going to be an “easy” month turns out to be 12 hour days, seven days a week to get ready for our big season!
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!
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 email@example.com for a weekday appointment.
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.
3/17 – 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.
4/06 – Friday Night Movies at Blended! 6pm to 9pm. Admission is free, we’ll provide the popcorn and wine for purchase. Adults only, no pets, no outside alcohol. “Curtain” time will be approximately 6:30.
4/07 – Gilroy Art and Wine Stroll. Saturday from 1pm to 5pm in Downtown Gilroy. It’s too early to tell where we’ll be pouring, watch this website and our social media channels for more information as we find out.
4/12 – A La Vie Dansante Wine Symposium – “Creating the Next Great GSM”. Thursday night from 6:30 to 8:30 at the winery. Cost is $45 per person and Wine Club discounts apply. Tickets are limited to 16 so reserve yours soon in the Tasting Room or online at: Blending the Next Great GSM
4/22 – 28 – Morgan Hill Wine Week. It’s too early to tell where we’ll be pouring, watch this website and our social media channels for more information as we find out.
4/25 – Campbell Wine Walk – Wednesday from 6pm to 9pm. It’s too early to tell where we’ll be pouring, watch this website and our social media channels for more information as we find out.
4/28 – Morgan Hill Wine Walk – Saturday from 1pm to 5pm. It’s too early to tell where we’ll be pouring, watch this website and our social media channels for more information as we find out.
5/10 – A La Vie Dansante Wine Symposium – “Wines and Vines of Santa Clara Valley”. Thursday night from 6:30 to 8:30. Cost is $40 per person and Wine Club Discounts apply. Join us for a fascinating look into the history of Grapes, Wines, and Winemakers stretching back 150 years in our local area.