Thursday, January 29, 2009


This is the off season. It is, admittedly, a time of relaxation, to some extent. Certainly, there are many things going on, and much more to prepare for.

Now we are preparing for our spring orders. Bottles, corks, capsules, labels. What new labels still need to be approved and printed? How many do we need to order? We need to schedule our conferences…Cornell Cooperative Extension seminars, Wineries Unlimited wine trade show, sending out wines for reviews, sending them out for wine competitions around the country, and many more things.

As well, maple syrup season is about to hit us full front. March will be a busy bottling time for us. We’ll bottle the wines ready for sale in spring and summer, and bottle reds in March and April we’ll release later in the year. A of course we'll also bottle maple syrup.

There’s vines to be pruned, new vineyards to plant, new construction projects to be conquered.

That said, it was not a tough decision to attend a dinner invitation, informal as it was, over our winemaker’s house Steve Casscles. We dined with Bob Redford and Linda Piero from the Hudson Valley Wine Magazine and some friends the Bellucci’s.

We arrived at Steve and Lilly’s house which was still colorfully festooned with warm and bright holiday lights. The effect was warm and wonderful. The night was spent trying dozens of different wines Steve had made as a home winemaker. Reds, whites, ports, and sherries. It was an incredible evening.

From the barn to the basement, to the kitchen where steaming pots of spaghetti and chicken in sauce and smothered in cheese, awaitedmus, flanked by a large fresh salad and lots of wonderful bread.

We chatted about Hudson Valley wines and about the future. And we generally had a wonderful time. It was a great big break from the winter that has gripped the valley this season. The house was warm and cheerful. The company bright and chatty.

It was one of those nights, Dominique and I remarked later, that made us happy we got into this lifestyle. And that we have met so many wonderful people since we arrived here. Even if we did have to go home and get up early for labeling on Sunday morning.


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