Wednesday, July 18, 2007


One of the most difficult parts of building a winery is construction. As any one who has ever built anything knows, whether you are building a model airplane or a garage or a home, anything and everything that can go wrong will go wrong. I hate cliches. I really hate cliches that are true.

The first thing was to fix up the small shack that had a bathroom and electricity. The entire thing needed to be revived from beginnign to end. We painted it inside and out. We put more than 1 case of caulk into it, and coated the walls three times. We also up-dated all the fixtures in the bathroom and had the walls replastered. And we installed a new working sink. It went from this red shack to something a little nicer. That was the first summer. This would go on to be the blending room.

It went from this red, peeling shack, to soemthing a little nicer. This would go on to become the blending room.

The inside of the blending room contains our bottling machine, blending tanks, filters, pumps, and hoses.

Our first plans for a new building were completely kiboshed by the local town building inspctor. We had intended to use a very large shed for our tasting room, something 32 x 14, which we intended to link up with the small blending room. But the roof was not up to safety standards for a commercial building for retail traffic. If it were an office it might have passed but as a place for the public to come in and out of, it was a no go.

By the time I had found a seres of engineers who would not or could not help us for varying reasons, we finally found an excellent architect in Bill Wallace from Wallace Design. Bill addressed all the worries the local building inspector had and get us finally moving forward. Not including Bill's fee, which was very reasonable, our building costs trippled.

This was great news if you didn't take into account that we already lost five months of building time. And it was now January.

Ralph and our builder Tim began by setting up an Alaskan slab and set it in January.

If there a thousand things comical about Dominique's and mine attempt to open a winery, the one bit of seriousness amongst all the comic relief was provided by Tim. He alone among us seemed to know what he was doing. The slab went in and we were thrilled. It was the last time anything went smoothly.

The weather was now about to change everything.


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