Monday, May 25, 2009

The Carnage After...

Pinot Festival last weekend was fantastic. And HOT. 95 or so at least on Saturday during the grand tasting. Two years in a row makes you believe in global warming. We had a few new wineries - LIOCO, Chronicle Wines, and Waits-Mast Family Cellars. I unfortunately only had a chance to try a few wineries, but I think overall a very strong group of wines and wineries this year.

On Sunday, May 17 (during the Pinot Festival) we had our grand opening here. We hired a local swing band, had antipasto platters, fruit, desserts, and a host of other foods. Many of our family friends came to help (thanks everyone!) and we originally were set up outside. By the time 11:00 a.m. rolled around it was already nearing 90 degrees, so we moved the party into the cellar.

For the rest of the day we ate, drank and made merry (well, those of us not working). It was an exhausting day, but well worth it. After three days of Pinot Festival, by this time I had moved on to a morning Red Bull. :)

Overall, our open house/grand opening was a huge success for us. We had hundreds of people through, evidenced by the racks and racks of glasses we had to wash throughout the day even though we rented extras in hopes that we wouldn't have to do dishes during the event. Sales were great, and we welcomed quite a few new wine club members into the family.

We were amazed that several groups told us we were one of the busiest tasting rooms in the valley on Sunday. Several of the older, better-known wineries were actually quite slow according to these visitors. I guess people were seeking out the new places to go and taste.

Now we're into memorial day weekend and it's busy again (a good thing). Joe and I are actually starting to plan our New Zealand honeymoon and are getting excited. On top of it, the summer growing season has commenced and the vines are starting to flower, so the cycle of activity begins again.

We love summer!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

The Countdown Begins

This is my last blog post until Pinot Fest (May 15-17) is over, so here's all the latest and greatest at Foursight:

- Our 2007 Sauvignon Blanc was just named one of the year's best in the June 2009 issue of Wine & Spirits Magazine. I'm amazed - between the 91 points, 90 points and editor's choice, gold medal and now year's best, this wine has rocked it. Especially for a white wine, where 90 points is general considered a bit of a glass ceiling. I know we love it, but we're apparently not the only ones.

- Our grand opening is next Sunday, May 17, so if you're in town please stop by and say hello. We're having food, wine of course, and maybe a few surprises. Hours are 10-5 at 14475 Hwy. 128 in Boonville. (707) 895-2889 or info@foursightwines.com

- The Anderson Valley Pinot Noir Festival is a big event for us (and the rest of the valley). Even with a tough economy, our grand tasting has sold out yet again, so only a few events are still available.

For Foursight, it's when we debut our new wines, so look for our 2007 Pinots at the grand tasting on Saturday (at Goldeneye Winery). It will be interesting to see how a Pinot Festival is with a tasting room. My younger brother, Tim, is in today - learning the ropes. My brothers will be helping to man the tasting room next weekend, which the rest of us are busy running the event or pouring our wines. The only person who will be missing on Sunday will be Joe (sadly), as he has to help at the Londers' open house.

Until then, pull, pour and enjoy!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Beer Festival

This past weekend was the Boonville Beer Festival. Alas, Joe and I were working and couldn't go, but I have to applaud the people watching from the tasting room windows. It was pouring, and there were thousands of people camping at the fairgrounds (right across the road) or down at the brewery. On Saturday morning we watched them walking in the rain to the fairgrounds. Many were smart and brought boots and rain jackets and hats (which scared Ozzie to death), but there were many others walking around in soaking wet sweatshirts and jeans. Fun...

There were quite a few beers in-hand starting at about 11 a.m. I thought it was amusing that all the pre-lubrication was from cans of beer that came out of ice chests, not the local bottles from the brewery (cheap beer to start the morning off right). By the time the festival had been going for a few hours, we started to see sheriff's cars with people in the back. They'd drive north empty and south full. Making laps to the Ukiah jail.

Taps were closed at 5 p.m. and the gates closed at 6 p.m. We were supposed to go to a party at my brother's in Cloverdale that evening, but after watching the stream of cars heading out of the valley (with some very questionable drivers), we decided to stay home.

It always amazes me the difference between something like a beer or reggae festival and our wine festivals. You just simply don't see sheriff's cars full of people being arrested at a wine festival. People don't pee on the side of the downtown restaurants or pitch tents anywhere there's an open space, someone else's front lawn or not. At last year's reggae festival we even had people bathing in the spigot where our tasting room is now. And the sheriff's department gets notice of all events because we have to pay for permits to hold them, which need to be signed off on by local law enforcement. You don't exactly see the sheriff's department sending five cars to hang out outside the Pinot Festival, whereas they were definitely all over town for the beer festival.

A different crowd, definitely, but more importantly, a different mentality. And, interestingly enough, the people we had in the tasting room this weekend weren't here for the beer festival. We did have a few groups in and we charged a tasting fee for those just wanting to go through wine flights before drinking beer all day, but the majority of visitors on this busy weekend were going to or coming from Mendocino - the normal procedure.