Monday, February 16, 2009

Puppy Photos

It's raining, raining, raining here and I'm stuffing nametags for the Alsace Festival this weekend and listening to Lily Allen (her first CD was better). Anyway, here are some puppy photos to tide everyone over. The last one was taken just a few minutes ago. As you can see, Oz is a pretty chill guy.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

February Sucks

Yes, I admit it - February sucks. There's a reason my parents always vacation this month. Granted, the current attempt at rain is pathetic and nowhere near the amount we need to be able to irrigate our grapes, but because it hasn't been raining, it's been FREEZING. I come down to my office in the morning, crank the heater to 70 and it takes 5 hours to get it to bearable. My fingers have been cramping up because of the cold all morning.

The new puppy, Oz, is getting big enough to jump on furniture, which is a joy (rolling of eyes) - he's already learning how to intimidate the UPS man from the other two. Although he's the only one that will eat the cookies he tosses at them. Actually, the only thing I've found the little guy doesn't eat is orange peels. At least he draws the line somewhere. :) He's making progress on the collar, though - no more running into walls head-first.

As Alsace Festival nears, my blog posts will continue to be a bit thin. However, the bright spot in all this is that we'll be opening our tasting room the second weekend in March, knock on wood and barring any unforeseen circumstances. Wish us luck, per usual.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Life Before Alsace

We're now officially over a week with our new puppy. Sleep is lacking but he's awfully cute so it mostly makes up for the middle of the night bathroom breaks. On the bright side, at least he warns us now before he has to do some numbers (you know, 1 and 2). He also sits and comes to us, especially if you're holding anything resembling food.

One small problem we're having is that he hates his collar. Every time we put it on he goes berserk and runs into a wall. It would be funny if we weren't so scared about him damaging his developing brain by running head first into the baseboard heater. So I'm trying small doses when we're outside (not that many walls or large objects to run into out there). Yikes.

Things are quiet on the winery front. We'll be bottling our 2008 Sauvignon Blanc in early March, so we're proceeding with finishing that up. We have a pouring for our SF Chronicle medals at the end of February, followed by the World of Pinot in early March. Every day I eagerly check the mail for our government paperwork so we can get started on what we need to open the tasting room. Nothing yet...

It's another gorgeous day here today, which makes us all very angry. Thank goodness rain is in the forecast because grapegrowers around the state are looking at probable water shortages for their vineyards. It's estimated that, in our area, if we don't get 15 inches by summer irrigation season that many vineyards won't have enough water to get a crop. That means that growers and wineries with vineyards are purchasing crop insurance this year with a "loss of irrigation" clause. It means that at least they'll be getting some money in return when they can't irrigate and don't get any fruit to sell. It's scary, so everyone please do your best rain dance for us. We need it desperately.

The only upside to something like this happening is that, yet again, wine production will be down in California. Small productions = scarcity = at least stable prices in this economy. That won't make up for the lack of wine to sell, but at least prices won't have to take a nosedive like the rest of the economy.