Its been a week or so since I last checked-in, so here’s the latest.

Nothing new with the wine. It all sits quietly while it settles out and turns nice and clear. All is as it should be. In this down time, I have been spending my time working on the label design (following the previous label for its obvious name recognition) and talking with bottle, cork, and packaging suppliers.

Also talking with the local mobile bottling guy about what I need to do to use his service: how many people it will take; what the label format needs to be; what bottles are acceptable;, etc, etc.

For those of you who were aware of what GRAVES CELLARS had done in the past, the mobile bottler here is the same kind of outfit. For those unfamiliar – it is essentially an 18-wheeler with all the equipment contained inside the van to fill the bottles, put in the corks, put on the labels, and spin on the capsules -all you do is hook the truck’s hose up to the tank of wine – put empty clean bottles in on one end…and take the finished bottles and put them into cases on the other…..at a rate of about 150 cases an hour! And when he’s done – he drives away..no muss – no fuss. Its perfect for the small operation like this.

On the home front: The electrician came and we got all the heaters installed – so the house is quite comfy. Of course it hasn’t hurt that since the day I panicked (cause it was starting to get COLD) the weather has improved a bit..figures. So now its on to rugs, and window coverings and decorating – all the little foofy stuff.

OH – yeah – and I have started to cook…some. I decided that every Sunday I would try something. Go on-line and find a recipe and give it a whirl….. Yesterday it was homemade stew….that was actually not bad…though with a loaf of bread and a bottle of French wine, just about anything will taste good.

And finally – an anecdote for the week. I got a call (actually several calls and messages over a two day period) from a local gentleman who needed my help (!?!?) His message, and subsequent call led me to believe (based on my rudimentary French) that he knew I was an American, and that he was an American, and had a ‘paper’ and needed my help. I thought 2 things: first – why if he and I are both Americans is he speaking to me only in French, and second – what kind of paper – maybe it was a local newsletter for Americans in the area, and he either wanted a story – or an ad..So – I said fine, stop by. He did. Turns out he is American – but only by birthright – his father was a GI in WWII, who stayed (returned) and married a French woman. The man who came to see my was the GI’s son. So he was / is a Frenchman but holding dual nationality. Not a big thing – lots of folks do that. Well, it seems that his passport had expired like 10 years ago, and he was trying to apply for a new one – – and the forms, of course, are in English – which he does neither speak nor read. So he needed help in filling out the form. No problem – took about 20 minutes to do…name, DOB, address, etc….standard stuff. We got done, and he turned to leave, and I asked him -in my French – why he came to me – and how did he find me.

To which he replied: “I went to the office of the Marie (mayor’s office) and the Prefecture (Municipal Police) to get help and they told me I needed to find an American to help. And when I asked if there were any Americans living in Sorgues… they told me that you (ME) were the only one they knew – and they gave me your number (my cell phone) – and so I called”.

SO – it would seem that I am the ONLY American resident in the town…so I got that going for me. As Steve Meineke mentioned to me when he, Julie and their friends were here – – there oughta be some way to capitalize on my situation…..hmmmm……..well maybe if the wine turns out to be good I might just try.

In the meantime – you all stay well.

More later.