I think it looks grape!
Wine Maker’s Report…
If I wait any longer, this would become my March update. I’m glad all the other months have more days, but if we have to pick a short month, a winter month is acceptable. Diane and I have been enjoying this less busy winery time of the year. There are many less visitors in the colder winter months providing us time to organize and prepare the winery for the anticipated challenges ahead. Last season First Crush Winery became a popular sought after Cape destination. Social media efforts, recommendations from our fans, and the ever growing popularity of our wine has caused this good problem. As I reported last year, at times it was difficult to keep up in regard to visitors, tastings, events, and tours. This year we are considering looking for part-time assistance. Two coop members have expressed interest. We will begin considerations for assistance in March after our winery conference.
In regard to our 2017 aging wines, they are developing beautifully. My methods will allow me to bottle some of our Sangiovese (Rapture) and Super Tuscan (Amore) by mid-June. In the red wines that I bottle sooner, I introduce a bit more oak than in wines I bottle later. In addition, the Super Tuscan is blended with 20% of our Cabernet blend (Fusion) from the previous year. In other words, the 2016 Fusion component has been aged over one year in oak and blended with our 2017 Sangiovese. Last year it was very special and thanks to you all, it was sold out by August. Not to fear, this season we made twice as much of both wines.
In March, Diane and I will travel to Lancaster, Pennsylvania to attend our annual east cost winery conference. As usual, our growers in California will be there. Seems like yesterday, in 2010, we met the Lanza and Musto team. That was the first year they came east to see if there were wineries looking for Napa equivalent grapes from the adjacent Suisun Valley. Our relationship quickly became, and is, more than a purchasing opportunity. We always look forward to our private dinner with them on the first night of the conference. We bring wine to show off, they bring wine to show off and we have a great time. These conferences are also an opportunity to attend educational classes, consider new winemaking toys for the winery and to learn from each other. I will provide a winery conference report in my March update.
I wish you could all be a fly on the wall when our growers, and others in the industry, compliment our unique coop winery model, and of course our wines. To this day, I have not observed a similar coop model. Thus, we remain special and we get head-turning praise from many that I respect in the industry. It’s all good!
An old physician, Doctor Gordon Geezer, became very bored in retirement and decided to re-open a medical clinic.
He put a sign up outside that said: “Dr. Geezer’s clinic. Get your treatment for $500 – if not cured, get back $1,000.”
Doctor Digger Young, who was positive that this old geezer didn’t know beans about medicine, thought this would be a great opportunity to get $1,000. So he went to Dr. Geezer’s clinic.
Dr. Young: “Dr. Geezer, I have lost all taste in my mouth. Can you please help me?”
Dr. Geezer: “Nurse, please bring medicine from box 22 and put 3 drops in Dr. Young’s mouth.”
Dr. Young: ‘Aaagh! — This is Gasoline!”
Dr. Geezer: “Congratulations!
You’ve got your taste back. That will be $500.”
Dr. Young gets annoyed and goes back after a couple of days figuring to recover his money.
Dr. Young: “I have lost my memory, I cannot remember anything.”
Dr. Geezer: “Nurse, please bring medicine from box 22 and put 3 drops in the patient’s mouth.”
Dr. Young: “Oh, no you don’t — that is Gasoline!”
Dr. Geezer: “Congratulations! You’ve got your memory back. That will be $500.”
Dr. Young (after having lost $1000) leaves angrily and comes back after several more days.
Dr. Young: “My eyesight has become weak — I can hardly see anything!”
Dr. Geezer: “Well, I don’t have any medicine for that so, “Here’s your $1000 back” (giving him a $10 bill).
Dr. Young: “But this is only $10!”
Dr. Geezer: “Congratulations! You got your vision back! That will be $500.”
Could not resist a vision joke. Drink my wine my friends,
Common Coop Questions…
Question 1:In regard to the new 2017-2018 Coop season, when do we pick up our reserved wine? Answer: Optimum for the winery… Late June into the fall. This will give me time to bottle some of our 2017 vintage.
Question 2: What if I want some of my wine from my reserve before June, before I pick up all my cases? Answer: Last year we established a protocol that allows me to consistent with all requests. If you partially pick up some of your reserve, you will pay 50% of your remaining reserve balance. As an example, if your balance on a two case reserve is $190.00, and you pick up one case, you will pay $85.00 then and $85.00 when your final remaining case is picked up.
Question 3:What if I joined the current Coop season with a two case reserve, but I decide subsequently to want a three case reserve to save $10.00 per case? Answer: You would simply pay the difference between the two to be added to your initial deposit. In a two vs. three case reserve, this payment would be the difference between $190.00 and $270.00, or $80.00.
Question 3:What is the cost if I want wine before I pickup any of my reserved wine, or wine in addition to my reserve? Answer:Coop members can always come in and pickup additional individual bottles at $16.00 per any bottle, or full cases of wine at their reserve rate.