Friday, February 26, 2010

Alsace, Semillon, Skiing and Rain

Today is my first day back in the tasting room in about two months! I didn't believe it at first, but we were closed in January and I was on hiatus for the Alsace Festival for the past month, so it must be true. It's been great, actually, to get back in tough with our customers and friends and chat with visitors today while we watched it POUR outside.

The weather amazed me today. Right now I see patches of blue sky and just a few hours ago it was pouring, with wind gusts that knocked down a tree just down the road and blew over all my signs and a riddling rack we have out front. It's the hardest rain I've seen yet this season and of course I showed up to work sans raincoat. By the time I picked the signs up for the third time I was SOAKED. Luckily I dried out a bit before the next tasting group.

Last weekend's Alsace Festival was fantastic. We moved to a new building, which had these great big windows, letting in a lot of natural light. Very different from our past years, which were beautifully decorated as well but not as bright and airy. We had 35 wineries from MI, CA, OR, WA, Alsace and New Zealand. We ate fresh oysters, duck wontons, coconut shrimp, wood-fired pizzas, gourmet cheeses, and a lot more. We listened to music from The Two Blue Dudes (actually four blue dudes this year). I predict (without having the final count tallied yet) that we upped last year's attendance. Hooray for us! Other events included a welcome dinner with some delicious cassoulet, a technical conference with late-harvest wines tasting, and a winemakers dinner on Saturday night at the Boonville Hotel (yum). Another hit, I think. Kudos to all our wineries and volunteers, and those wineries that traveled very far to be here.

To relax after the past few weeks Joe and I escaped to Kirkwood for a few days. We stayed on-site in a studio that looked straight out of the late-80s, early 90s (very rental apartment chiq). ;) We skied for two days and ate out, slept in and enjoyed watching the snow fall. The skiing was great - more than a foot of fresh powder - and I'm only slightly crippled today. The only bad part about Kirkwood is the lack of dining options during the week. Without wanting to drive into South Lake, we tried the Kirkwood Inn (steak house, good food), then we ate at the local pub. The "fine dining" option wasn't open during the week, but I guess it just saved us some money. And we lucked out -- my first day lift ticket was free and the second was only $49 because Joe's a pass holder. Yowsa.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day

So it's Valentine's Day and, surprise surprise, we're working! It's actually a great weekend to be open in the tasting room - when everyone's on vacation to the Mendocino Coast they come out wine tasting, so we see a lot of faces. Especially coupled with a 3-day weekend.

There are days when I lament having to work every weekend and holiday, minus Christmas and Thanksgiving days, but when you're in the hospitality business that's life. When other people are vacationing and playing, you're working. If we were only open Monday through Friday and closed on holidays we'd all be out of a job. :)

Tonight we'll sit down and compare notes over a bottle of bubbly (probably Roederer L'Ermitage Rose) and think about the few more barrels we can now buy for the business because we worked. Not too bad.

So, Happy Valentine's Day to everyone, and remember while you're out celebrating to spend some money. It will make those people who are working and waiting on you very happy! haha

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Life As We Know It and Gold Medals

The Foursight tasting room has reopened for the year (we closed for January), which means we're back to pouring wine Friday-Monday, 10-4:30. It's been nice to see all the friendly faces again, although January gave us a good amount of time to refinish floors, clean the winery, for some of us to take a vacation, and all those life things that get put on hold during the harvest season.

Our 2008 Sauvignon Blanc just got a Double Gold Medal at the 2010 San Francisco Chronicle Competition, which we're VERY excited about. Our Pinots all got silver medals (not many Anderson Valley Pinots were awarded this year, it seems). This means that all our wines, with the exception of the Semillon (we didn't enter it because we only made 25 cases and have two left) won medals, and out of 4,900 entries this year, that's fantastic! www.winejudging.com

It's also just a few weeks from the Alsace Varietals Festival here in Boonville, so I'm busy working away, 7 days a week, until that comes to fruition. Curious minds can look at the event and get tickets at www.avwines.com. Great local foods, live music, and wineries from Alsace, New Zealand, Michigan, Oregon, Washington and California.

So, not many posts to come in the next few weeks, but plenty after the event and a few days skiing at Kirkwood. I can't wait.