La Vie Dansante Wines

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.

News

January
Ah January, the time when a young winemaker’s fancy turns to… taxes. After three great months of concentrating on making the best wines possible we now shift gears and work on getting our books into the best shape possible before sending them off to the Accountant. I’ve told many people in the Tasting Room that winemaking is only about 20% of the job. Another 40% is running a small business (the other 40% is marketing and selling wine). Any small business will work you twice as hard as you expected before you began but running a winery is especially difficult because we deal in a controlled substance. This means lots of record keeping and forms to fill out each year. The first week of January we run a complete physical inventory that covers every drop of wine, piece of merchandise, or package of food. Everything has to be accounted for. Using the inventory we calculate the amount of Federal Excise Tax we need to pay (due 1/15), the amount of State Excise Tax (also the 15th), the State Sales Tax (1/31) and finally the State Usage Tax (also the 31st). In addition to the taxes we need to document every action taken in the winery during 2018 through TTB Form 5120.17 and BoE form 501-WG. Luckily we keep pretty complete records so most of this is just filling out the forms and making sure it all adds up in the end – still, it will take every minute of January to complete.

So all of the above is true but with one small caveat – we’ll definitely find the time to take care of the wines and even get a little bottling done. Our plan is to bottle the 2016 Grenache, 2017 Grenache Rose, and hopefully some of the 2017 whites before the end of the month.

December
For such a strange harvest season it actually turned out pretty terrific. All of the wines are safely in tank or barrel and all of the equipment has been cleaned, serviced, and put away for another year. With a few exceptions the wines are spectacular. We can’t wait to share the Grenache Blanc and Viognier with you, they truly are special. This year’s Syrah and Grenache are every bit as good and the Carignane – especially the Pamela’s Vineyard – is sure to be a must have, wine club only wine. We struggled a bit with having sone of our fruit contracts cancelled – we’re short on Roussannne and Petit Sirah – and the Mourvedre never really ripened. We have some work-arounds planned for this vintage and a plan to find more reliable vineyards for next year in the works.

There was a bit of bottling that we were supposed to get done last August but we ran out of tine so we’re attacking it this month with the hope of being back on track by the end of the year. Next up on the line: 2017 Aubade, 2017 Grenache Blanc, 2017 Viognier, 2017 Roussanne, and the 2017 Grenache Rose.

With the new year comes our rededication to education. We hope to have the wine symposium schedule for 2019 published in the next week or so. The goal is one class per month, every month except December when there’s just too much goinig on with the holidays to make it practical.

Next year’s goinog to be another busy one! Thanks for sticking with us as we continue to mature and grow, we TRULY appreciate your support.

November
This has been a really strange harvest season.

First it started late, and now I’ve been having trouble getting all of the fruit I was promised. I had two sources of Roussanne setup up for this season, each was supposed to provide one ton of grapes. The first source called on the day they picked to tell me there wasn’t enough to fill our order… would we care for some Marsanne instead? Marsanne is a terrific grape but without it’s blending partner, Roussanne, it’s not very useful. I said “yes” anyway because we need something for the 2018 Aubade, even though it’s not my first (or even second) choice. It didn’t matter since a couple of hours later I got a call saying “not enough Marsanne either”. Well, now what? Luckily my second source didn’t cancel on me and we have enough Roussanne for the blend, just not enough for a 2018 Roussanne single varietal.

The cool summer has also led to low brix, or sugar, numbers on some of the other fruit. The Mourvedre ended at 20 brix when we needed at least 23 brix for a stand-alone wine. At 20 brix you get about an 11% alcohol wine – luckily we need it mostly for the 2018 Serenade, a GSM blend, where it’s job is to brighten up the Syrah and Grenache. Following a trend, the Grenache blanc is looking like it will end at 22 brix, also a little light for the stand-alone wine. I saw this coming and the other wines that blend with it for the 2018 Aubade are a little bigger than I would normally like. Put them together with the light Grenache blanc and we should have perfection.

So, are there any bright spots to this harvest? Yes! The fruit this year is beautiful, acids are still there, and pH’s are lower than usual. This is perfect for the kind of wines we all enjoy. Also, the ancient vines Carignane is looking perfect. We’ll definitely have a single variety 2018 Carignane in our future. In the end, it’s all farming. Sometimes it’s good, sometimes it’s bad, but mostly it all works out. One thing about winemaking, it’s never boring!

(more…)

Upcoming Events

Tasting Room:
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 weekend tasting fee, or when we pour as part of Blended, is $10 (refundable with the purchase of a bottle). On the weekdays we have no tasting fee.

If you’d like to visit us on a Tuesday or Wednesday give us a call at (408) 852-0779 or email info@laviedansantewines.com for an appointment.

January:
1/01 – Tuesday, New Year’s Day – We’ll be closed so Jeff can root for the Huskies in the Rose Bowl.

1/24 – Thursday, 7:00 to 9:00 – How to Get the Most Out of Your Wine Tasting.  Tickets are $45 each ($36 for Wine Club Members) and include a fun lecture, Q&A time, and two glasses of wine!

1/26 – Saturday, 1pm to 4pm – Blended, a Winemaker’s Studio – Barrel Tasting.  We’ll be pouring our soon to be bottled 2016 Syrah along side the brand new 2018 Syrah. Come see how a wine matures and changes over two years in barrel. Medieros Family and TASS will also be presenting wines and we’ll have small bite pairings for each.

February
2/21 – Thursday, 7:00 to 9:00 – From Vineyard to Glass, A Grapes Journey.  Tickets are $45 each ($36 for Wine Club Members) and include a fun lecture, Q&A time, and two glasses of wine!

March
3/01 – 3/31 – Wineries of Santa Clara Valley 2019 Spring Passport.

3/16 – Saturday, 6pm to 9pm – La Vie Dansante Wines Spring Wine Club Release. Watch for more details as we get closer to the event.

3/21 – Thursday, 7:00 to 9:00 – A Concise History of Wine – 7,500 years in 90 Minutes.  Tickets are $45 each ($36 for Wine Club Members) and include a fun lecture, Q&A time, and two glasses of wine!

April
4/18 – Thursday, 7:00 to 9:00 – Building the Perfect GSM, a Blending Seminar.  Tickets are $45 each ($36 for Wine Club Members) and include a fun lecture, Q&A time, and two glasses of wine!

May
5/23 – Thursday, 7:00 to 9:00 – Wines of the Rhone Valley.  Tickets are $45 each ($36 for Wine Club Members) and include a fun lecture, Q&A time, and two glasses of wine!

June
6/20 – Thursday, 7:00 to 9:00 – A History of Wine in the Santa Clara Valley.    Tickets are $45 each ($36 for Wine Club Members) and include a fun lecture, Q&A time, and two glasses of wine!

July
7/18 – Thursday, 7:00 to 9:00 – Old World vs New World, a Study of Two Styles.  Tickets are $45 each ($36 for Wine Club Members) and include a fun lecture, Q&A time, and two glasses of wine!

August
8/22 – Thursday, 7:00 to 9:00 – One Grape, 5 Styles – Syrah Around the World.  Tickets are $45 each ($36 for Wine Club Members) and include a fun lecture, Q&A time, and two glasses of wine!

September
9/06 – 9/30 – Wineries of Santa Clara Valley 2019 Fall Passport.

9/19 – Thursday, 7:00 to 9:00 – Boutique Winemaking – How We Make Wine at La Vie Dansante Wines.  Tickets are $45 each ($36 for Wine Club Members) and include a fun lecture, Q&A time, and two glasses of wine!

October
10/18 – Thursday, 7:00 to 9:00 – Boutique Winemaking – How We Make Wine at La Vie Dansante Wines.  Tickets are $45 each ($36 for Wine Club Members) and include a fun lecture, Q&A time, and two glasses of wine!

November
11/15 – Thursday, 7:00 to 9:00 – Wine Faults and Flaws – Is it the Wine, or is it Me?.  Tickets are $45 each ($36 for Wine Club Members) and include a fun lecture, Q&A time, and two glasses of wine!

December
12/07 – Saturday, 6pm to 9pm – La Vie Dansante Wines Spring Wine Club Release. Watch for more details as we get closer to the event.

12/20 – Blended’s Fourth Annual Holiday Party