Rearranging things a bit….

Clyde and I spent the morning rearranging the salesroom….
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….to accommodate our new beer selection. We are starting out with four varieties of St. Louis’s hometown brewery – Schlafly! We have their Pale Ale, Hefeweisen, Oatmeal Stout and Oktoberfest available to purchase here in the tasting room. Our liquor license does not allow us to let you bring in outside alcohol here, so we are excited to be able have these craft beers available for those in your group who might not want wine.

So the other side of the room changed a wee bit after we straightened out the tasting bar and moved the cooler over.
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1. We moved the set of display shelves over and have our sweatshirts displayed in the far corner.

2. The wood stove it still in the same spot, with a few tables in front so you can enjoy fireside conversations when it gets cool out.

What do you think of the new arrangement? I hope you can come visit us soon and experience the difference for yourself.  Cheers!

We’ve Been Framed!

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I hope everyone enjoyed a great weekend – with Columbus Day yesterday, a few of you got to enjoy an extra day off! My parents came in for a visit on Friday and just left this morning, so I’m getting caught up with the normal stuff around the winery now. I put my parents through the October paces on Saturday, and we even started on a fun project I’ve been wanting to take on here for you all.

Inspired by this party planner’s blog post, I’ve collected a few frames to hang up in front of the winery, so you’ll have a fun backdrop to take photos at when you visit. Saturday was our first attempt and the results you can see above. Dad and I hung up one of the frames and got a few photos despite the cold, damp weather!

1.Me   2. A long-time customer, John & his grandson, posed for us for this cute shot.   3. My Dad (Sherry) 4. Another customer was a good sport and posed for a shot after one side of the frame pulled down. 🙁

So one comment after Saturday was that the frame was dark and hard to see against the winery backdrop.  So I painted the two dark wood frames I had collected for this project on Sunday.  And obviously we needed a better hanging system, so Clyde got to work on that yesterday afternoon.

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1.The blank slate, ready to be framed.  2.I pulled out a frame, and my doggies wanted in on the action!  3. Here are the two frames that my neighbor Sandy found for me.  They were both great deals, and with a layer of paint you can hardly see any of the wear and tear marks.  The frame with the curved top took a bit of repair work, but between my parents and Clyde, it should be fairly solid now.  4. Clyde got into a goofy spirit as he worked on hanging up the frames.  5. Two frames hung, and one to go – a great idea from Clyde was to use a barrel hoop as a frame too.  6. All three frames hung up…we’ll probably put some paint on the barrel hoop too since it doesn’t show up well against the wood too.  But now it was time to play!

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This was such a fun project, and now that we have them hung up, you can use the frames for your own fun snapshots when you visit!

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I’m lucky to have such great parents – it was wonderful to host them this weekend.

And speaking of lucky…..
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I’m super lucky to have this guy in my life too. Not only does he make great wine….he goes along with my goofy decorating ideas.  Thanks Clyde!

I hope you all can come by soon for wine and a few fun photos!  Cheers!

2012 Norton

Last week we crushed a 3 ton batch of Norton Grapes and today/tonight we are pressing out the wine.  Here are a few pictures of the process….
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1.The truckload of bins filled with nortons. 2.The view inside the bins – check out all those grapes!
3.We borrowed our neighbor’s tractor and forklift to make sure we had enough horsepower to lift the bins around.
4.The grapes were then dumped into this destemmer/crusher. The stems end up in a bin while the crushed grapes are pumped into a clean bin.
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This is what the crushed grapes look like after they come out of the crusher. At this point the bins are taken down into the wine cellar and yeast is added to each bin. The yeast is allowed to ferment for a few days, and then it’s time to use the press to separate the skins and seeds.
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1.Here’s the press after Clyde cleaned and sanitized it this morning. 2. Back down in the cellar, Clyde pumps the liquid from the bottom of the bin over the top of the bin so that all the skins and seeds get mixed in and become easier to pump. 3. Then Clyde starts pumping the wine up out of the cellar and into the press. Here’s the wine just beginning to flow out from the press into the collection pan below. 4.Extreme wine closeup! 🙂
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All this work exhausted Maggie and Pepe, so they took a nap in the sun while we pressed out our Nortons this afternoon. I think it’s about time to go join them! Cheers!