La Vie Dansante Wines


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.

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 – we can always use another pair of hands.


Upcoming Events

Tasting Room:
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 for a weekday appointment.

5/11 – South Valley Wine Auction. Friday from 6pm to 10pm at the Morgan Hill Community Center

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.