Very exciting things are happening for us here at the winery! After planting our vineyard 4 years ago, we are now ready to leap into phase two of development – construction of our winery!
This winter we received our manufacturing license, which means we now have the green light to move ahead. But planning for construction of the winery involved some big decisions to make. One of them being whether to start fresh with construction of a brand new building, or to use and work within an existing horse arena that we have on the property. As a major reason why we took over my Grandpa’s retired horse ranch was to keep the land (and his life’s story) in the family, we decided that keeping the arena standing was important for us.
So, we decided to build our new winery in the arena, to sit atop where my grandpa, my dad, and I, among many other family members, all rode our horses for years.
Then in February, we broke ground!
The next step was to pour the foundation…
then the framing began…
and within one week it was done! The finished product is a 70 x 35 foot winery, with 14 foot high ceilings. And we couldn’t be more happy with it!
At the right of the winery, in front of the large door, will be our covered crush pad. To give us the option, our crush pad will also extend to outside of the arena. To do this, we had some massive doors built into the side.
The next step includes all the plumbing and electrical and the pouring of our cement floor. We are well on our way to being done for this years harvest in the fall!
In addition to construction, we have also been at work in the vineyard. Compared to the record breaking temperatures we experienced last year at this time, the spring we have had this year has been considerably colder and wetter. But regardless of the weather, the vines need to be pruned! So, dressed in gum boots and rain coats, we set out to give our vines their annual haircut.
As these 2.5 acres are our test plot, we have experimented with various methods and techniques to contrast and compare the vines productivity. Originally we planned on spur pruning the Pinot Gris and cane pruning the Epicure, L’Acadie, and Seyval Blanc as we have read that each of these varieties produce better with those methods. But, last year we tried both pruning methods on each of the varieties and found there was no difference in their quality or productivity. So, as spur pruning is relatively easier to do, we decided to use this method throughout the vineyard.
With the pruning done and construction well on it’s way, we now have some time to sit back and wait for the sun to spring our vines to back to life.