As I sit here in the barn on a rainy day in April, find staring at stacks and stacks of unlabelled and unwaxed bottles…I feel a strange sense of calm. With the stresses of bottling now past, I wistfully look forward to the 2013 growing season and the six exciting new wines we’ll soon be introducing to our guests.
In stark contrast to 2012, spring conditions have been consistently cool to this point. That’s just fine with most grape growers, who would rather see their buds emerge slowly from a long winter slumber. Eager buds mean sleepless nights for farmers and especially those in charge of operating wind machines. The week of rain we are currently experiencing is actually much needed to help replenish water tables and soil moisture levels before we’re faced with the rigours of summer heat.
Rainy days are also great for catching up on things like racking, labelling, waxing and for reflecting (i.e. blog writing); like right now when I glance over at my three dogs cuddled up on the floor and find myself smiling, warmed with a happiness bordering on tearful pride. These dogs have come to mean a lot to me, and I consider myself very lucky to be able to bring them to work every day.
The mere fact that I’ve accumulated this fur triumvirate speaks to my personal weakness for saying no to rescue animals (don’t ask how many cats we have). Three dogs can be a handful – especially three of this ilk. They are equal parts cute, crazy and vision impaired. A fixture in the barn, they are usually adored and doted on by our guests. One soon learns, however, that excited dogs, cheese platters and fine stemware don’t mix. Despite their shortcomings, I am fully aware that these three have given me far more than I will ever be able give to them.
A big change is that I’m now forced to take lunch breaks, a rarity prior to their arrival. To be responsible for living creatures has been a wake-up call of sorts, although many times that call comes way too early in the morning in the form of a blood-curdling Nova Scotia Duck Toller scream (Google it). The lighter moments they supply are a welcome distraction from the inevitable hail storms, bottle shock, mildew, rotten Pinot Noir and determined starlings that I always seem to be worrying about. Come to think of it, they even help ward off those pesky starlings! Most importantly they make me stop and enjoy life, for both human and dog years go by way too quickly.
Over the coming weeks I’ll be posting the vinification notes for each of our six new wines and sending out an email order request to all those who’ve left their contact information in our guest book. In the meantime, dedicated followers of this blog are welcome to pre-order any of our 2010 reds or 2012 whites they would like (firstname.lastname@example.org). They should be ready for pick-up by May 1st.