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.
Harvest finally began! Normally we’d be busy from the first week of September on but this year we didn’t get our first grapes until near the end of the month. In fact it got so bad we needed to slide our “hands-on” Boutique Winemaking class into October because we had no fruit to put in our hands. That’s all changed now and we’re busy fermenting the 2018 Grenache and Syrah. Viognier is already done and in the tank and we’re anxiously awaiting the next load of grapes. The climate is a little strange this year but we hope to still bring in Grenache blanc, Roussanne, Carignane, and Mourvedre. There’ll probably also be a little Cabernet Sauvignon in the near future so we can continue to make our popular “Stage Right”.
We have one more class on the 2018 schedule, Candlemaking, which we’ll hold on the night of Thursday, October 18th. The cost is $45 and tickets are available at our online wine shop or in the Tasting Room. In this class you’ll learn how to make professional, long lasting candles from a selection of seasonal and holiday scents. Come enjoy the class and take home a candle for yourself or as a present for a friend.
Being open on weekdays has turned out to be our favorite part of the week. We offer a different, La Vie Dansante Wines-centric tasting list. The smaller weekday crowds give us time for one-on-one conversations about wine, wine making and grapes or whatever catches your fancy. Come join us for a wine tasting in a relaxed vineyard atmosphere.
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!
Stop by and try the La Vie Dansante wines every Thursday through Monday 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 Wednesday give us a call at (408) 852-0779 or email email@example.com for an appointment.
October: More Harvest, Eat, Sleep, Make Wine!
10/4 – Thursday 6:30pm – RESCHEDULED La Vie Dansante Wines Wine Symposium; Boutique Winemaking . Tickets are $45 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.
10/18 – Thursday 6:30pm – La Vie Dansante Wines Wine Symposium; Candle Making Class. Tickets are $45 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!
11/23 – Black Friday – We’ll be open our normal noon to 5pm hours with special deals on wine and merchandise. Here’s your chance to stock up on wine for the holidays!
December: Rest and recover
12/8 – Saturday 6pm – La Vie Dansante Wines Winter Wine Club Release. Stay Tuned for more information as the date approaches.
12/23 – Friday – Blended’s Holiday Party! We’ll be open from noon to 5pm with special holiday snacks and surprises. From 6pm to 9pm we’ll have live music by Jason Cade in the Tasting Room.
Holiday Hours – We’ll be closed Monday December 24th, Thursday the 27th and Friday the 28th to celebrate the season with our families. We’ll reopen with our normal hours on Saturday the 29th