Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Wines are Fermenting

It smelled like a winery this morning at 4:30 am, when I took my turn at punching down the must to ensure the wine has a wonderful rich taste, and color.
Big wineries have big pumps and systems to do this, but we do it the old-fashioned way, by hand.
Randy is busy putting up a mural at the outlet today...and it looks awesome! It really changes the look of the place.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

The Outlet is OPEN

Wow, what a difference a month makes!

The Winfield Main street folks helped us upgrade the facade, by removing what was there to let the historic brick shine through...
A great big "Thank you!" to Ralph and Cathy Royston, Jim Day, Dallas Jordan, Vernon Goertz; husband of Design Committee Chair Cindy Goertz, and Don Key.
There is lots more to be done, but we wanted to put our best foot forward for the Walnut Valley Festival, and for Winfield. Our wonderful friends, Bruce and Nina, said: "The outlet does not have to be done...people want to sample the wine, not look at the walls, open the doors for them."
So that is exactly what we did, and it was wonderful advice.....Thanks, you two!
We officially opened the Outlet on Saturday September 13. Thank you to everyone who came to see what we were about. Watch us while we continue to improve the building, the shop offerings AND another newsflash...Jack and Mildred Speers have been blessed with apples this year, so the Cowley county Apple wine will be back! Hopefully in time to warm your Thanksgiving table.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Grapes all picked

Late last night under the full moon the final grapes were brought into the winery from the vineyards just outside. Everyone was in a fabulous mood. There were grapes being crushed, grapes being pressed, juice being sampled, C-O-L-D grapes coming in from the vines, and you could just barely see your breath in the lights.
Wow, what a great day (and night).
Now on to finishing up the crushing and pressing today, seems like there are some fabulous flavors to the grapes this year....we will see how that translates to the wine.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Open for Business, Lots of Rain, and Harvesting all the grapes.

Whew what a busy few days!
The GREAT news is....we are open for business at 711 North Main. The building is not complete, and lots of woodwork and wood trim remain to be installed, but there is wine-tasting to be done, the wood will wait! We had a good turnout on Saturday, and a big "Thank you" to all our customers, old-and-new who helped us christen the building with a sip of wine....CHEERS!

We had a downpour of rain Saturday morning, and the winery was flooded briefly. We had a similar incident two years ago, and did some re-work of the dirt, but we apparently had 5+ inches of rain and it came in real harm, just pushed it out the door, very early in the morning, dry-vacuumed and all is well.
That downpour of rain is not-so-good for the grapes, though. You may know that heavy rains before harvest can have two effects:
First they can change the water content in the grape berries, and second the water can make the grapes split open.
SO the harvest began immediately, and by the time the grapes were splitting we had a lot of them picked, thanks to our FABULOUS picking crew, who are sporting their new Windswept Winery signature "crush crew" tee shirts!
And we got all the grapes in except for one variety and we are picking that TODAY, Monday. We usually space out the harvest a little more, but it's almost all in, and we are looking forward to more GREAT WINE!!!! The flavors are proving to be wonderful.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Opening Thursday?

Hold on, Winfield, we are trying to open the Winfield Windswept Winery LLC outlet tomorrow, September 11.
The State of Kansas says the permit is in place (on-line at least).
We had to turn folks away at the door yesterday, and we sincerely apologize to the folks who came to buy wine. Please bear with us, we want to open to serve you!

What could be more appropriate than sipping a bottle of Land Rush White after the "Land Rush" at the Walnut Valley festival?

The Historical Land Rush into Oklahoma for land is pictured on the bottles of Windswept Winery LLC's, Land Rush White wine. The "Land Rush" at the internationally acclaimed Walnut Valley Festival is named for the day when camping for the festival can begin. Stampede on down tomorrow afternoon and try some.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Outlet Opening Delayed

Our apologies to our customers! We are all dressed up and no where to go.

Seems the State of Kansas, by statute, is supposed to issue Winery licenses within 30 days....
That would have been Last Friday, September 5, so we thought an opening day of September 9 was safe enough.
We still don't have the permit, so please bear with us...

We are still hoping for maybe Thursday, Maybe Friday, Maybe Saturday....
We are working hard to get the doors open.
Thank you all for your support and understanding.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Picking Time!

Oh my favorite time of year...picking the grapes.

It is always a wonderful feeling to get the grapes harvested, crushed and in the tank! All the year's hard work, sitting in picking lugs ready to crush and make wine.
I will try, try, try to get pictures, seems like I am so busy I just forget every year!
We have two varieties picked; the Vignoles and the Cynthiana. A big thanks to: Annette and Bryan and our cast of pickers: Cassandra (the most pounds), Melissa (greatest hatred of nature), Grandma, Caye, David, Robert (greatest distance ever from Wichita), Brian, Misael, Rita, and Mark! Thank you all!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Outlet Work - Ready for the Winfield Walnut Valley Festival

Randy and I spent long hard days this weekend working on the Outlet building, and his masterpiece tasting bar. It is beautiful, darling, what wonderful work!
We still have lots to go, planning for an opening at the Winfield Music Crawl, September 9.
Why oh why did I take no pictures during the rehabilitation? Oh well, pictures of the renewal will be here soon.
Maybe I can grab a picture of the first customer through the door? Maybe it will be you?
We will be open every day from Sept 11-Sept 21 for the Bluegrass party, Walnut Valley Festival!