Just like that, the year is over. Our last day at the tasting room is next Monday, December 21st. The shortest day of what has been a very long year. We have had a wonderful, mild fall that looks like it will spill over into a wonderful, mild winter. We deserve it. We've earned it! After two of the toughest winters on record we are looking forward to temps that stay above zero. We have removed about six acres of vines that were either killed or crippled by the last two winters. I'm actually excited to see the open ground and by the anticipation of the great new wines that will come from the varieties we are replanting there. To quote the prophets (Red Hot Chili Peppers), "Destruction leads to a very rough road, but it also breeds creation." We have learned a lot about what to plant and where to plant it, and as Dad always said, "You can't put a price on an education!" (However, your banker will make you come up with an educated guess.) The vineyards on our best sites have done great. Our pinot noir is just coming out of its final fermentation and is a fabulous bright cherry color and flavor. The chardonnay is still going through malolactic fermentation before we put it into oak for six months or more. The fruit for both was beautiful and the wines will show it. The riesling and sauvignon blanc just continue to get better every year. Our syrah vineyard took a beating, but the best corner of it is still producing some spectacular stuff. Keith says that wine just makes itself, but he is being modest. He has produced some of the finest wine in Michigan and he is just over 30 years old. All the more reason to dwell on the future and not the past. Some of these wines won't be available at the tasting room until 2017, but we have to keep sampling them ourselves to measure the progress. It's a tough job, but someone has to do it!
We are looking forward to our long winter's nap, reopening on Friday, March 4th when the cycle starts all over again. Sue and I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you who have become such good friends and "vistanistas" over the last 14 years. We couldn't have drunk it all without you!
Wine is life, wine is family.
Wine is best served with conversation. Improve the wine, improve the conversation. Cheers!