Hi All

WOW – I just realized how long it has been since my last update…my bad, SORRY!

Fall/winter has arrived here – plants are starting to lose their leaves, and the vineyard is quiet.

OK – so …. Bad news / good news

As many of you know, sales have not been meeting expectations for quite some time (like forever!) and I have been struggling with how to improve that. WELL….it looks like there is no help in sight… fired lots of flares, but no rescue.

So, I have had to take a drastic step. This last summer I started looking for an escape valve and approached a local real estate group and asked for their advice. They suggested, and I agreed, that initially they would informally (and quietly – Chateaineuf-du-Pape is a VERY small community and word travels fast!) ask in the local area and see if there was any interest among the locals.

Almost immediately ( 3 days !), a local winemaker expressed interest, and subsequently made a VERY lucrative offer – but ONLY for the VINEYARD.

Uh oh..turmoil !!! What to do? Sell the piece or hold off and try to sell it all. How long might that take if I hold? What kind of price could I get if I did…

And the biggy: Where would I go if I sold the domaine – and what would I do?

In my now-typical fashion, I allowed myself one whole weekend to contemplate these issues and decide my fate. (no SUPER COMMITTEE for me!)

The OUTCOME (drum roll please)

I agreed to sell the vineyard to the local winemaker – Isabel Ferrando at Domaine Saint Prefert – at a very good price. With that sale, she also bought this year’s harvest, so that she could get instant results.

With that, I decided to stay and keep the house and the winery………..and the olives and the view and the sun and the food and the wine……..and the life.

The down-side of course is that I am no longer a real ‘wine farmer’, a title which I will miss.

But, I have stock of the 2009 wines left to sell AND the 2010 wines still in tanks and ready to be bottled.

And I have created a new LLC to allow me to continue to make wine – as a ‘negociant’– using juice and/or grapes from local producers – so Mas de la Lonne wines will continue, they just will no longer be from estate grapes.

Also in this new LLC, I will be operating a new venture – TOURS DU RHONE – providing custom designed guided tours of the local wine region. NEW WEBSITE WILL BE UP SOON !!!!!

SO – I am still here…. still waiting for visitors to arrive!

Still waiting for you to come and SHARE THE DREAM !!

HAPPY HOLIDAYS

Doug