April 4th, 2009

Hi all

Here’s the latest…good news and better news…from afar.


Got all the plastic rabbit protectors up. Julien was here today and we walked the vineyard and he pointed out to me where the rabbits were already winning – -turns out they also eat the teenage vines that are low enough to the ground for them to reach – but are too big for the plastic covers… looks like I will never have the upper hand – best to hope for is a draw. Got the place fertilized and judging ready to plant the new plants (about 350) when I return from Seattle at the end of the month.

The Wine: – – Good news – – -ITS COTES DU RHONE!!!! I finally received confirmation from the judging organization that the red wine meets their standards. So I can label it and sell it as ‘Cotes du Rhone’ and not Vin de Table (which is worth like about 2 EURO per bottle). So we will bottle the red at the end of April and have it ready to sell in June per plan.

OPEN HOUSE: – – Better News – – We are now officially OPEN for business. The sign went up this morning, and what a morning it was…blue sky, no clouds, no wind and slated to hit about 70 degrees!!

And, as some of you know today was also the “Portes Ouvertes” (Open House), for which I had sent out about 200 ‘invitations.

I really had no idea what to expect in terms of attendance. I had never done one of these before. I held a “First Release” party at Brasa for my first Graves Cellars wine, but that was inviting friends to come celebrate. This was my first time at something like this aimed at the marketplace. And, its not the kind of thing that people would RSVP to, so I really wasn’t sure whether I would see 5, or 50 or 200 people. So I laid out the caveau to receive folks, and put out some things for people to nibble on if they saw the need (cheese, bread, olives, tapenades, bruschetta), opened the door at 2:00 pm and waited to see.

People starting showing up right away. For the next three hours or so it was a fairly constant stream of folks – most were old customers of Julien’s, but some were new, and they all seemed interested in the wines – both the rose that was for sale and the red that I was offering for tasting, but wouldn’t be available until June 1. I suspect there was on the order of 150 people who came by…..and most bought something!!!

At the end of the day, I tallied things up: 48 boxes ( 6 per box) of rose (out of a total of 145) sold. AND, since I was offering to take “Orders” for the red in advance of its release in June- at a slightly reduced price- I ‘Sold” about 35 cases (400 bottles) already. All in all, it was a VERY good day!!

Personal Note: – – Also Good news – – Got my permanent Carte de Sejour last week – so I am now fully street legal for 1 year!! Another major hurdle overcome.

All for now..think I’ll go buy myself a glass of wine to celebrate.

Be good out there.