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.
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.
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 email@example.com for an appointment.
7/27 – Friday 6pm – La Vie Dansante Wines Movie Night; Caddyshack – “Doors” open at 6pm, “Curtain” rises at dusk, approximately 8:15pm. Popcorn for free, wine for purchase. Please; 21 and over only, no pets, and no outside alcohol.
8/10 – Friday 6pm – La Vie Dansante Wines Movie Night; The Princess Bride – “Doors” open at 6pm, “Curtain” rises at dusk, approximately 8:00pm. Popcorn for free, wine for purchase. Please; 21 and over only, no pets, and no outside alcohol.
8/16 – Thursday 6:30pm – La Vie Dansante Wines Wine Symposium; Wines of the Rhone Valley – Our Inspiration. Tickets are $40 per person (wine club discounts apply) and cover six wines for tasting, and a 90 minute talk on the history and wines of the Rhone Valley. Let us tell you why we’re “Rooted in the Rhone”.
8/24 – Friday 6pm – La Vie Dansante Wines Movie Night; Top Gun – “Doors” open at 6pm, “Curtain” rises at dusk, approximately 8:00pm. Popcorn for free, wine for purchase. Please; 21 and over only, no pets, and no outside alcohol.
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!
11/15 – Thursday 6:30pm – La Vie Dansante Wines Wine Symposium; The History of Wines and Vines in Santa Clara Valley. Tickets are $40 per person (wine club discounts apply) and cover six wines for tasting, and a 90 minute talk on the oldest premium wine region in California. Come learn about our storied history and how it’s influenced our current wine region.
12/8 – Saturday 6pm – La Vie Dansante Wines Winter Wine Club Release. Stay Tuned for more information as the date approaches.