It is more of a winter like morning in the vineyards of Glenora and along the shores of Seneca on this the first Sunday of the third decade of the 21st century. The sky is cloudy and the temperature is 29 degrees but as a result of the wind which is coming from the northwest at 13 miles per hour, the temperature feels like it is 18 degrees.
Lake temperature: Keuka is now at 44 degrees which is up from 40 degrees that was recorded on December 20th. Obviously the warm weather and rain of this past week has had an impact - messing up the ice fishing and ice boating!
In the vineyards: Pruning continues with the vineyards team starting their days in the vineyards as soon as they can see the vines-which is usually about a half hour before sunrise. While the weather (warmer) has made pruning conditions much more pleasant we always have concerns when there are extended warm periods in late December and early January. We have had temperatures that reach 50 degrees this past week which is not conducive to maintaining or developing vine cold hardiness. As we have mentioned before we always recall what has become known as the "Christmas Eve Massacre of 1980", The temperatures prior to Christmas Eve 1980 had been relatively warm (like this past week) and had reached the mid-50's on Christmas Eve Day, The temperatures then plunged to a minus 10-15 depending on vineyard location on Christmas Eve night and Christmas morning. The result was extreme fruiting bud and truck damage on many of the vinifera varieties which in turn significantly reduced the 1981 harvest-39 years ago!
Interesting: a not in my backyard thing-wine tariffs. We are hearing lots of concerns being expressed on the current wine tariffs and possible new or increased tariffs, by the wine industry urging people to speak up against them. The irony is that where were these folks during the past number of years when the dairy industry (farmers like grape growers) were and are severely impacted by tariffs, the same question could be asked regarding support for the corn, soybean, pork and beef producers that have been impacted by these tariffs.
This coming week our sales and marketing teams will be meeting to review and finalize our participation in many of the programs offered by the various wine and tourism organizations. While the budgets have been developed and approved for these programs/organizations we will be reviewing the programs that have been proposed by the organizations. At the time we develop our budgets many of the organizations had not yet fully developed their programs for the year (sort of like just send us the money and we will give you the details later). So now that those programs are in place, or nearly so, we can review them and then decide on our participation level. To a degree the old ROI (potential return on investment thing). It is very easy to get trapped in the "we have always done that" or we need to be good industry partners and support these organizations. That thinking may have worked in the early days of our industry-not so sure it is the case today.
We will be taking part in the Seneca Lake Wine Trail's Global Eats and Treats Event being held on January 17-19. We will be traveling the Globe to Jamaica and will be serving Sweet Plantain Tacos with Black Bean Hummus and a Spicy Sweet Potato Purée. For more information on the event and the many other opportunities presented by members of the Seneca Lake Wine trail visit www.senecalakewine.com Take the time to "click about" the website as there is lots of information, including what each participating winery will be serving, and the recipe, during the event. The Seneca Lake Wine Trail website is one of the most, if not the most, comprehensive wine trail website in the United States - check it out. By doing so you will have no excuse to not know "what is happening" along the wine trail - and who is doing it!
It will be great to have a full 5 day business work week (consistent days ) starting tomorrow, While we enjoy the holidays having them midweek has made for two Fridays (Tuesday and Friday) and two Mondays (Thursday and Monday) for each of the past two weeks. Next year, because of "Leap Year", both Christmas and New Year's Day fall on a Friday-hence a three day weekend-start planning!
Did you know: That this is the third time that January 5th has fallen on a Sunday in this century-2003, 2014, 2020!!
Thought for the week: Business
"More business is lost every year through neglect than through any other cause."
The sky over the vineyards of Glenora and the shores of Seneca is partly cloudy on this the last Sunday morning of the decade. The temperature is 31 degrees with a feel-like reading of 25 degrees - a result of the wind which is coming from the south southeast at 5 miles per hour. Lake temperature: Keuka; is holding at 4o degrees, at least at the 20 foot level which is where the water temperature is taken.
In the vineyards: The vineyard team enjoyed the Christmas holiday week, consequently there was not a lot of sounds of pruning shears clicking. We will start a full scale pruning attach soon after the first of the year.
In the cellar-bottling room: It was a very quiet week there as well as the bottling line was shut down for the week. However it will be up and running this coming week as the production team finishes a couple of small projects on Monday and Tuesday.
The administrative wing of Glenora was quiet at the end of this past week as well with only Tracey D. and Megan (the accounting team) holding "the fort" on Thursday and Friday. They even turned off, or did not turn on, the lights (only in their office). We know we have a good accounting team when they are concerned about saving electric!
Spooky! The editor always makes it a habit to visit all the wineries on Christmas Day just to make sure everything is okay. It is really a unique experience, only because it is so quiet. No cars in the parking lots, no one in the restaurants, retail shops, cellars or offices. The only sign of life was Sadie, the cat at Knapp, along with the chickens and peacock at Knapp.
We did attend what appears to have been the last organization meeting for the year this past Monday - a meeting of the Seneca Lake Wine Trail's Long Range Planning Committee. That meeting's agenda focused primarily on the involvement (financial support) it will be providing to other tourism promoting organizations, way to increase membership on the trail, and the ongoing discussion of events. It was also agreed that since it had been two years since the trail's strategic plan (or in the trail's case - a white paper) that we should revisit the plan at the January meeting.
If you know of any organization looking to raise funds and have fun while doing so have them contact Emily at the Inn/restaurant firstname.lastname@example.org as we are still seeking a couple of chefs (organizations) to fill our Thursday Pasta night spots. From a fund raising perspective it is much more fun that licking envelopes and stamps to solicit donations. An added bonus for the chefs is that they have an unlimited supply of wine during their tenure at the Pasta Station.
The wine chiller (the new cellar equipment). Thankfully it has been relatively cool outside since the fact that the three to five day project has now extended into a 10 plus day project. Fortunately the delay has not had any negative consequences.
It is a bit intriguing to start a week (this coming week) in one year and then ending it in another year, as well as starting the week in one decade and ending it in another decade. For many, you will be able to note a week in which you were paid for work performed in two years and also two decades -it will be another 10 years before one can experience the latter.
Would you like a free trip to Switzerland-airfare, lodging, tours, etc.? All you have to do is win the Second Annual East Pruning Competition sponsored by Felco (a manufacturer of pruning shears, and other pruning/vineyard equipment). The contest will be held on January 31st at the Anthony Road Wine Company-Dresden, NY USA. Probably as rewarding as winning the trip would be, the bragging rights of being named The Best Grapevine Trimmer/Pruner on the Eastern part of the United States. You will need a passport to go on the trip so if you do not have one -apply now!
If you have not made any New Year's resolutions or set goals for the New Year and decade you still have time. No resolutions-no goals result in no accomplishments'!
Thought for the week: Normal
"The only normal people are the ones you don't know very well."
The sky is clear over the vineyards of Glenora and the shores of Seneca on this the first day of winter 2019-2020, which at this point on Sunday morning is only a few hours old (winter started at 11:52 PM yesterday). The temperature is 27 degrees however due to the wind which coming from the south southwest at 7 miles per hour the "feel like" reading is 19 degrees
For those of us fortunate enough to live in the Finger Lakes American Viticulture Appellation the weather conditions for the upcoming Christmas week look favorable for holiday travels. It might be a bit tough for Santa's sleigh as the warmer temperatures will most likely be the demise of the snow and "Frosty"!
In the vineyards: The weather conditions earlier this past week did allow the vineyard teams to finish up most of their hilling-up projects. For the next 2-3 months most of the sounds coming from the vineyards will be those of the pruning shears "clicking".
In the wine cellar-production department: Another week of bottling, with a most of that involving custom work projects. The work on the chiller installation continues on. What was portrayed as a relatively simple project "appears" to have developed some complexity-hopefully it will be completed this year.
Can do-we will make it happen attitude: On Wednesday morning a customer who was visiting the Glenora retail shop commented on nice a particular gift basket that was on display looked. She then asked "Is there any way I could get 25 of those specially created by Friday?" Without a moment's hesitation Retail Shop Manager Rachel, Assistant Retail Shop Manager Tammy and their team said "yes", and on Friday afternoon the baskets which had been specially created for this customer were being carried out the door. An example of the Glenora philosophy of "We do not say no, unless it is illegal or immoral". We will have to clearly define those terms in our employee handbook!!
On Monday, tomorrow, we will be attending what we believe will be the last wine related, tourism related, or civic organizations related meeting of 2019 - a meeting of the Seneca Lake Wine Trail's Long Range Planning Committee. With almost all of the organizations of which most have a monthly meeting, there is a plethora of committees associated with the organizations which means that unless one is careful, meetings become a bit like quicksand -once you get in you cannot get out. It would be interesting to count how many wine and tourism organizations have been created during the past 40 years-a 2020 project!
A new addition to the Finger Lakes Wine Festival? We came across this article recently. It appears, at least according the article that festival visitors will be able see some historic race cars/evens as well during the wine festival.. It is great to see more things being added to the festival that has grown significantly since its inception in the early 1990's. More information Here.
Things will be quiet in the cellar this coming week as the cellar team will be collecting on their vacation time. It has been a busy year for the production team and as a consequence they have not taken a lot of the vacation time due them. And they are very smart-by combining vacation time, with holiday time, and weekend days they will be enjoying 10 straight days of personal time!! If they really need to rest up there is another holiday the following week. Well deserved!! We do hope that we do not forget what they look like during this extended absence.
On schedule-the new winter menus are in effect-breakfast, lunch and dinner. The kitchen and restaurant teams conducted their information tastings on Thursday - the teams taste the menu items in order to be able offer explanations to our customers when they are asked about the menu items-they did not do a wine pairing at the same time, although they do taste the new wines at the time they are released.
Congratulations go out to the Windmill Team-Terri and Erin!! Sales at "The Mill" were up 33% over last year, and 20% over the goal. 622.66 cases. Also thanks to WindMill Larry for his part in making sure we were set up for action each week.
Since it is close to the last week of the year it is time to consider New Year's resolutions/ideas: New wines, new labels, new markets, new programs-what is working, what is not working-it will be a new decade in a few short says-the third decade of 21st Century - do you know when it (the 21st century) began?
Thought for the week: A Smile
"We shall never know all the good that a simple smile can do."
The sky is cloudy over the vineyards of Glenora and the shores of Seneca on this this second morning of Dosage Your Own Weekend at Glenora. The temperature is 34 degrees, with a feel-like report of 24 degrees which the result of the wind which is coming from the west at 14 miles per hour. Lake temperature; Keuka - 42 degrees, one degree cooler than it was on December 31, 2018 - Global cooling?
In the vineyards: The vineyard teams started the week walking through 8-10 inches of snow, which by mid-week had melted creating some mud. However in certain locations it was dry enough to finish some of our hilling jump project. Of course pruning goes on. We will bring in our documented worker team soon after the first of the year to assist us with the pruning.
One of the biggest events that occurred this past week happened on Tuesday afternoon when James, the Wedding and Events Manager at Glenora, was presented with the Finger Lakes Tourism Alliance's "Excellence in Customer Service Award for 2019. This is a significant honor for James as he was selected from the many customer service representatives in the 14 counties in Finger Lakes Region, and there are 100's. Under James' leadership the Inn at Glenora has been awarded or inducted into The Knot's (a premier wedding planning publication) Best Weddings Hall of Fame for 7 consecutive years. The Knots's award is based on the comments and reviews received from brides that have had their weddings at Glenora during the preceding year. The Knot award is not only a tribute to James but also to the entire Glenora Team for their hospitality and customer service. Congratulations to James and all!!
Some interesting numbers from Anne, Glenora and Knapp's regional sales associate: During the period from November 15 through November 27th, Anne and her In Wine Shop Tasting team conducted 20 unique tastings. Those tastings resulted in 967 people trying our wines of which 47% purchased wine - 460 bottles (38.33 cases). It certainly cannot be said that we do not support our accounts or assist our distributor. Thanks go out to Anne and her team!
More reports: Retail Sales Manager, Rachel, reported that she and her team hosted a total of 5469 visitors during the two weekends of the Seneca Lake Wine Trail's Deck the Halls event. She also has told us that she and her team conducted their first ever Cyber Monday event which resulted in 78 orders leaving on Tuesday - another happy day for the FedEx folks as well! The retail shop team is now into their 12 Days of Christmas event - a visit to the retail shop will be very rewarding.
Not to be outdone Missy, Inn Manager, conducted a Cyber Monday event as well which resulted in 211 room nights being sold. Another benefit of the room night sales is meals in Veraisons and visits to the retail shop.
More numbers: The Maintenance team reported that they moved 8 inches of snow during the recent snow storm - everyone has numbers!
Executive Chef Patrick, who is new to Team Glenora team, tells us that he and his team will be introducing their new Winter Lunch, Dinner and desert menus on December 19th - two days prior to the winter solstice!! He also notes that we have 3 openings for guest chefs for our Pasta Night Series. One does not have to be a stellar chef, just have a lot of friends who want to watch you "try" to cook pasta. Also we contribute/donate/give $2.00 (10.55% of the revenue, not of the proceeds which would be much less) for each meal served, to the Chef's favorite Charity.
Words: It is the time of year when we hear "Have a Merry Christmas, if I don't see you before"-what happens if they do see you before? One has to wonder who started that saying and when!
This weekend, yesterday and today is our annual Dosage Your Own event. Lots of folks "creating" their own sparkling wine. Thanks go out to Steve, Rachel, Tracey and Kerry for their parts in making the event a success.
Last of the year: This afternoon we will be hosting a wedding and reception, it may be our last one of the year-but there are still 16 days left-who knows!!
Thought for the week: History
"One cannot and must not try to erase the past merely because it does not fit the present."
The sky over the vineyards of Glenora and the shores of Seneca is partly cloudy on the the last day of Wine Trail events for the 2019 season. The temperature is 25 degrees, however the feel-like reading is 14 degrees due to the wind which is coming from the south at 12 miles per hour. Lake temperature: Keuka - 43 degrees. It is interesting to note that it was December 30th last year before the lake temperature reached this point-another indication of the cold weather we have experienced this fall as compared to last year!
In the vineyards: The snowfall earlier this past week did place a halt on our final hilling up operations, however the forecast for the upcoming week may allow the vineyard team to finish that project. In the meantime there are acres and acres and acres of vines to be pruned! And it seems that most of the deer have been harvested.
In the wine cellars: This is the time of year when the winemaking and production teams are racking (wine, not pool balls) and filtering. The wine making teams tells us that they have plans to have our 2019 Rose' ready for bottling by the end of January. This is a wine style that the entire wine world seems to be in a race to see who can get it on the shelf first. It has come to the point that if one (a winery) does not have the wine ready for release by the end of the first quarter of the year they may as well "forget it". Another interesting factor with the wine is its color. Rose' used to be the color of a rose petal -it now needs to be the color or a salmon (a fish) -does anyone care about the taste?
More cellar-production area news: Plans are being formulated to install our new chiller system which is used to control the temperature of the jacketed wine tanks and the wines inside of them-the current unit is 30 plus years of age, as well as being underrated for the current production needs. The unit is used to control fermentation temperatures during harvest and then later in the year to assist in cold-stabilizing the wine (reducing the tartaric acid in the wine). So since fermentation is completed and we have a bit of time (a couple of weeks) before cold stabilization needs to start (remember the Rose') now is the time to make the change. However the contractor is claiming that one of our trees will need to be either removed or severely pruned which is not setting well with the editor-we will be meeting to discuss this on Tuesday!
Last evening Chef John and his team wrapped up the Wine Dinner series at the Knapp Vineyard Restaurant for the 2019 wine dinner series season. The theme, appropriately, was titled "All wrapped up" a play on wrapping presents for the holiday season and as well each course was "wrapped" with either puff pastry, filo, bacon, en papillote. Unfortunately, for the editor previous obligations prevented attending. However, if history is an indicator Chef John and his team did an excellent job.
Wine trail events: While many, if not all, of the wineries have events scheduled for the balance of the year (check the wine trail websites) the last of the major wine trail events will be finished at 5 PM today. Over 1300 visitors will have traveled the Cayuga Wine Trail and close to 3400 visitors will have circumnavigated Seneca Lake. These events are great fundraisers for the wine trails (used for marketing and promotions) and a great way to introduce people to the trails and their member wineries. As an aside everyone was thankful the events took place this weekend and not last weekend-the weather!
While the Glenora Gazette editor was "humbugging" them, our Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday promotions were a great success - so much in fact that the UPS and FedEx drivers werethinking of bringing bigger trucks.
This coming week many members of Team Glenora will be gathering to shop and then wrap gifts for our adopted family - a family that might be struggling during the holiday season. We are provided with the number of people in the family and their ages so we make sure everyone receives a gift along with providing many stapes that can be used to create holiday meals, and used at other times during the year. This is all done incognito!
It is gelling close to the end of the year and time to start considering New Year's resolutions. You might not only consider resolutions for the upcoming year--2020, but for the upcoming decade 2020-2029 as well!
Thought for the week: Research
"Research is what is done when individuals/groups don't know what they are doing."
It is a dark, cloudy morning over the vineyards of Glenora and the shores of Seneca on this the first Sunday of the last month of the year and the last month of the decade. With a few flakes of snow in the air the temperature is 27 degrees with a feel like temperature (started to say "reading"-but how do you record "feel like") of 20 degrees, which is a result of the effect of the wind which is coming from the southeast at 6 miles per hour. Lake temperature: Keuka: 46 degrees.
In the vineyards: For part of the vineyard team it was "in the Woods" as they were taking some vacation time to chase deer. We are going to get one of those genetic kits to test Bob as we are quite sure he is related to Daniel Boone or some other previous hunters as he seems to have an uncanny ability to locate dee much to their chagrin-at least for a short period of time.. Those team members not in the woods spent some more time hilling up-that project will end this coming week. After that it will be pruning, although we are giving lots of consideration to removing some of the older vineyards --- some being close to 50 years of age.
On the Press Decks: At CLR Tim and Wally now have all of the pressing equipment in storage-wrapped up for another year. The Glenora team has their equipment in storage as well and will soon have the equipment that is too large to be moved-shrink wrapped, maybe we can get a wrap with color this year.
This coming weekend marks the end of the Seneca Lake and Cayuga Wine Trails special events for the decade. At last report the Cayuga Trail is expecting 1200+ event participants and the Seneca Lake Wine Trail is expecting close to 3400 participants. The Seneca Lake Wine trail did an extensive; in depth survey of past wine trail event participants earlier this year. One of the interesting things, and there were many, is that a significant number of trail event participants are "first timers". Another part of the survey was to determine where people came from and what the demographics of the area where they came from. All of that information helps the trail to market and promote visitation to the wine trail members. Wine trail events, on Seneca, have grown significantly since one of the first trail events in 1991, Fruhling Wein Fest, when Anthony Road, Castel Grisch, Lakewood, Fulkerson, Prejean and Glenora got together to create and present the event. Tickets were $5.00 and participants received a "engraved wine glass", wine and food pairings, AND a Pine tree seedling (we have wonder how many of those are still alive). The event was very successful and by 1994 there were 16 Seneca Lake wineries participating-ticket prices had risen to $8.00, and there was a survey given to each of the participants asking them questions about the event -ironically many of the same questions are still being posed to event participants today-it just costs more to conduct surveys today.
The Veraisons team presented a spectacular Thanksgiving buffet this past Thursday. It is quite amazing to see the preparation that goes into presenting and serving the buffet-three seating's. Our hats are off to everyone who made the event possible == your time and efforts are very much appreciated as are those of the retail shop team who opened the retail shop in order that our Thanksgiving dinner guests had an opportunity to visit the retail shop as well.
This coming week Joel and his team will be decorating the Inn and Verasions for the Christmas holiday season. It really is very impressive, a huge Christmas tree on the veranda, very large pine wreaths hung over the entry ways to the inn complete with night lighting, Christmas trees in the dinning room, and the editor's favorite the two wreaths hung in the windows in the cupola over the Inn.
Wine bottle deposits - there is legislation on the horizon that would require a deposit on wine bottles (and apparently other spirit bottles). As with many proposals of this type it seem that very little thought has gone into this proposal, with one of the biggest unanswered questions is "who is responsible for the redemption (collection and refunding of the deposits). Hopefully we will be able to make enough money on Small Business Saturdays in the future to cover the costs of yet another government mandate.
Thought for the week: Vision-Ideas
"True originality consists not in a new manner but in a new vision."
It is a cloudy, damp morning on this this last Sunday in November over the vineyards of Glenora and along the shores of Seneca. There are and have been a few flakes (snow) floating about on occasion. The temperature is 35 degrees with a feel like reading of 32 degrees, a result of the wind which is coming from the northwest at 5 miles per hour.
Lake temperature: Keuka - 47 degrees. The somewhat rapid decline in the lake temperature is beginning to slow. The lake is now at the approximately the same temperature as it was a year ago at this time which means we should be seeing a lake temperature reading of 43 degrees on December 31 -the turn of the decade
Thanksgiving forecast (weather): A cloudy day with a temperature high of 35 degrees and a low of 26 No precipitation!
Vineyard news: The vineyard teams continues their work on late season trellis repair - replacing broken posts, repairing broken trellis wires (not many of those these days), repairing end post anchors, and beginning to get pruning weights which will be used to determine the amount of fruiting buds to be left for next year's harvest. It is also DEER season!!
In the wineries: The Winemaking Team at CLR (Tim and Walrus (Wally)) emptied the last of their red fermenters this past week (Cabernet Sauvignon) and have started to dismantle their press deck - meaning putting the press, must pump, pumice elevator and other small pieces ofequipment be placed into winter storage. The harvest bins will soon follow.
At Glenora and Knapp winemakers Steve and Rachel report that all of the wines that are supposed to have gone through malo-lactic fermentation have done so with one exception. They, the wines, are close to being 3-4 months ahead (malo-lactic fermentation) of where they have been in some previous years - another benefit of our lees floatation device which allows us to start fermentations much earlier.
The production team had the bottling line, the disgorging line, and the pouch line all in operation this past week. There are no deer chasers in this department!!
It is wine trail event weekend on both the Seneca Lake and Cayuga Wine Trails. The Seneca Lake Trail has just over 3200 people participating and the Cayuga Trail has just over 1700 people participating. The Glenora Team offered Carrot Ginger Soup as their food pairing - prepared by the Veraisons Culinary team led by Chef Mitchell. Knapp and CLY offered Wild Mushroom Cabernet Sauvignon Soup as their food pairing created and prepared by Chef John, Knapp Vineyard Restaurant. Combined there were over 250 gallons of soup made for the weekend. A bit of irony -- Several; years ago the Seneca Lake Wine Trail started many of their events on Friday afternoon. While customer count was low on Friday for the first few years it has grown significantly, where now close to 18-20% of the three day visitor count participates on Friday. On Friday the CLR team hosted 612 visitors and the Glenora Team hosted 528 DTH visitors.
If you would like to create your own Sparking Wine for the holidays and other special celebrations there is only one opening on Saturday December 14 and three on Sunday December 14 for our Dosage Your Own event. You will work with Winemakers Steve and Rachel, who are assisted by Vice President of Production Tracey and General Manager Kerry. Upon completion you will not only have your own sparkling wine but you will receive the coveted "Glenora Certificate -- Master of Dosage" thus allowing you to put the initials -"GWCMOD" after your name or signature.
On Friday, Winemaker Steve gave us an update on his Glutstar gluthione project. Steve is working in cooperation with one of our fermentation product suppliers using this material which long story short attaches to the aging-oxidation materials/elements in wine during fermentation, by doing this winemakers will be able to use less anti-aging materials in their wines. Steve is looking into this for Homo sapiens. Winemaker Rachel, being much younger, is not involved/\.
The waving of the green flag marking the beginning of Great American Business Race to the Bottom will occur on Friday-Black Friday; again on Saturday -small business Saturday; and yet again on Monday - Cyber Monday. Those businesses in the race, almost all, "race" to see who can entice customers with the largest discounts or give a ways. The real winners (businesses) in this race might be those who come in last.
Thought for the Week: Progress
"Never retreat. Never explain. Get it done and let them howl."
The sky is clear over the vineyards of Glenora and the shores of Seneca. The temperature is 21 degrees; however, if you are outside, it feels like 13 degrees - a result of the wind which is coming from the south southeast at 5 miles per hour.
More weather news: Looking at the forecast for the coming week and for the balance of November it appears we have seen that last of our 50 plus degree temperatures as the weather gurus are telling us to expect daily temperature highs to be in the 40 degree range with lows in the mid 20's and not a lot of precipitation. So the weather conditions appear to be fine for travel for next weekend's Seneca Lake Wine Trail's Deck the Halls event and the Cayuga Wine Trail's Holiday Shopping Spree Event. The forecast seems fine for Thanksgiving travel as well.
In the vineyard: The vineyard teams were VERY HAPPY that harvest had wrapped up the preceding week as this past week brought sleet, ice, snow and wind to the vineyards (and every place else). So in general, this past week was one of gathering up and putting away harvest equipment, harvest bins, and picking trays. The teams have started and will continue to "walk rows" checking for broken wires and posts that will be repaired before winter sets in. They also continue the hilling up project as well as applying potash to the vineyards that are in need of the same. We will also be reviewing the yields from a few of our older vineyards, and perhaps making the decision to retire some of them. Some of that is driven by yields (tons per acre) and some by the marketability and prices paid for the grapes which come from those vineyards.
On the Press Deck: The activity there has slowed significantly with the only activity this past week was the emptying of red fermenters: Cabernet Sauvignon that had been harvested the preceding week. Vice President of Production Tracey will not be wasting any time disassembling the press deck and wrapping up the equipment for winter storage.
In the cellar: With harvest/pressing finished for 2019, the Cellar team has returned to bottling and sparkling wine work on a full time basis. This also includes resuming some of our custom wine projects.
Last Saturday's 43rd Annual Nouveau celebration was a success even in spite of the very cold weather (thanks Joel for keeping us warm). The wine, a Lemberger or Blaufrankish (a name that is on the same level as Limberger) was very well received and we heard, for the 42nd time, the comment "best ever". There was, "no best ever" comment for the first wine - for obvious reasons.
Last evening Chef John and his team at the Vineyard Restaurant at Knap presented their November Wine Dinner, "All that Jazz." Each of the five courses was themed around a very recognizable jazz tune, which was performed by a live artist (beats the alternative which we have thought was the case in some situations). Next month's dinner will wrap up the wine dinners for the season and hence is themed "All Wrapped Up" - December 7th.
It was another week or so of winery association meetings as during that 10 day period there were two wine trail meetings, a wine alliance meeting and a marketing/promotion organization meeting (there may have been a couple of chamber of commerce meetings held as well). If there is a common thread, it is that the same people seem to take leadership roles in many of these organizations and have done so for years. In many cases the organizations continue to do the same thing or to offer the same programs year after year after year. They, the organizations, often times wonder why they do not see an increase in support or membership - could it be there are no leadership opportunities/openings for people who are new in the industry, or the organizations offer programs never seem to change?
How much wine for Thanksgiving? Unless your guests or family do not enjoy wine, you might use this guide sent to us by long time Glenora supporter Diane Wolcott. Diane tells us roughly a bottle person - of course you would have several different types which would be shared. The only exception to that rule is that the chef who gets their own bottle of sparkling wine to enjoy will preparing the meat in addition to the wines served with the meal. (And then there should be a bottle or two for the dishwashing team!!)
This coming week the retail teams at Glenora, Knapp and CLR will be decorating for the wine trail holiday events. The trees will be up by Wednesday, the wreaths by Thursday, and wassail bowl out on Friday (we need a recipe). We will start mumming on Saturday evening - all are welcome!!!
Thought for the Week: Education
"The aim of education is the knowledge not of facts but of values."
The sky is cloudy this morning over the vineyards of Glenora and the shores of Seneca. From the temperature readings it would seem winter has arrived but we still have another month of Fall according to the calendar. The current temperature Is 35 degrees however it "feels like" 27 degrees due to the wind which is coming from the south southwest at 10 miles per hour. Lake temperature: Keuka - 53 degrees.
In the vineyard: The 2019 harvest at Glenora, Knapp, and CLR is finished with the CLR team "wrapping it up" on Monday when the Mason Road Cabernet Sauvignon, and the Petite Verdot at CLR were harvested. We certainly appreciate the efforts of the vineyard teams in bringing in all of the grapes. The season starts out with short sleeved shirts and ends up with sweatshirts, heavy jackets, and Carharts! There is always a lot of moving parts to the harvest season, and depending on the vineyard, the winery and the weather the picking schedule needs to be flexible. For people who need a structured work day/week the harvest season would be very stressful. Thanks go out to Chaz, Jeffery, Bob, Brent, and Corey - the harvest team!
With harvest ending this past Monday, the Vineyard teams quickly "changed gears" as they power washed and greased the harvester, making notes of all of the items that will need attention before harvest next year. They rounded up all of the bins that seem to grow legs during harvest, power washing them as well and making repairs as needed. There is one winery where we deliver grapes that seem to play "bin bumper cars" when they unload and empty the bins - they also fail to risnse the bins which is and has been a winery courtesy since the beginning. The teams also started "hilling up" in several of the vineyards. Hilling up consists of pushing soil up and over the graft at the base of the vine to protect it over the winter.
On the press decks: While the harvest (picking) finished on Monday the press deck teams stemmed, crushed and then placed the Cabernet in red fermenters on Monday. They also started to press our "iced Wine" grapes on Monday, however that was cut short by a "stripped gear" on the Wilmes Press's motor. So a quick trip was made to Knapp where we have an identical press. Thanks to the efforts of Tracey, Chaz and Brent, the motor on that press was removed - quite a project has it had been in place for over 40 years with several coats of paint on the nuts and bolts that held it in place. However with some prayers (or were they cuss words?) the motor came off and the "Iced Wine Grapes" were pressed and the juice is now in the tank. A side note - pressing "Iced wine Grapes (frozen) gives us a yield of 45-60 gallons per ton as compared to 170-175 gallons per ton from the same fruit that was not frozen.
Yesterday marked the 43rd anniversary of a Nouveau Wine Celebration at Glenora. The event was first started at the end of harvest in 1977 to celebrate our first year of harvest/winemaking. It was a rather small event at which we invited all who had helped us establish Glenora during the year of 1977. We had started the year with a site on which an old barn had stood, and by years end we had 4500 cases of wine in the tanks-10 months. The event was original called Foch Nouveau as Foch grapes were the grapes used. It has now become "Nouveau" because we no longer make a Foch wine although the vineyard is still alive and well. One tradition did end this year and that was Henry the Hogg was not roasted on a spit or smoked - he was cooked in an oven. That decision was made when the weather forecast came out earlier in the week. Starting the smoker at 6 AM and standing by it when the temperature is 25 degrees for 6 hours is no longer considered fun - even when fortified with a glass of two of brandy. Thanks go out to Joel and the Maintenance team for keeping us warm, the kitchen and restaurant team for the great food, and to the administrative team for all of the organization.
Bob, who assists us with marketing and sales, returned from the American Wine Society meeting in Florida carrying a plethora of medals won by our wines, including one for the best white Vinefera wine in the commercial wine competition (wineries from across the US) - our 2019 Select Harvest Riesling! While all of our wines are the efforts of our entire cellar/production team, Winemaker Rachel took the lead on this one -Congratulations Rachel!!
While 2020 is 7.5 weeks away, plans are being made or finalized for some of the early years events which include Pasta Night, Fish Fry Fridays, Steak and Potato, the Bridal show and the early year Wine Trail events. There are several "twists" in store for these events. We also will have a new program - a monthly signature wine. More to come as we do not want other readers of the Gazette to plagiarize it.
Thought for the week: Thought-Ideas
"True originality consists not in a new manner but in a new vision."
The sky is partly cloudy on this the first Sunday of the 11th month of 2019. The temperature is 36 degrees with a feel like reading of 30 degrees - a result of the wind which is coming from the west south west at 3 miles per hour.
Lake temperatures: The Seneca Lake recording buoy located at Clark's Point (Roy's Marina, or east of Vonnie's and Port's restaurant) has been removed for the season, hence no more Seneca Lake temperatures until 2020. Keuka, where the water temperature readings are taken at the municipal water plant in Penn Yan is recording 57 degrees. It has been interesting to follow the graphs that show the water temperature on Keuka. Ever since the middle of June the water temperature has been lower than it was at any given time in 2019 - a reflection of the weather pattern this year. It was cooler which also is an indicator for the lower Brix and higher acid levels in the grapes this year. Last year it was November 14th before Keuka reached 57 degrees.
In the vineyards: Another monsoon week, or at least the later part of it when we received 1.48 inches of rain on Thursday evening at all of the vineyard locations. That was followed by "hurricane type wind" (at least it seemed that way) on Thursday evening and most of Friday. The Knapp Team wrapped up their 2019 harvest by picking their Catawba on Wednesday afternoon. CLR harvested Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon and had plans to harvest the Mason Road Cabernet on Friday as well as Petit Verdot at CLR, but the rain and wind stopped that. The Mason Road Cabernet Sauvignon vineyard is on a bit of a slope, good for air drainage, but not good for harvesters, tractors and bin trailers after an inch and a half of rain. Those grapes will be harvested on Monday and that will finish the harvest season - November 4, 2019
The vineyard teams will be winterizing equipment this coming week as the forecast is for temperatures declining to the lower 20's on Thursday and Friday, with 2.7 inches of snow on Thursday. Sad news for any grapes still not harvested (and there seem to be quite a few) unless they are planned to be used for ice wine.
In the cellar and on the press deck: This past week, the press deck team emptied the red fermenters that contained Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Lemberger. The grapes had been in the fermenters close to a week (color extraction) before being pressed. This coming week, the Cabernet Sauvignon from Mason Road will be put into the tanks. Given the predicted cold temperature we are very glad our red fermenters are jacketed and can be warmed.
On Thursday, Kerry, Mitchell, Rachel, and the editor met to review plans for Deck the Halls number one. This will be the first Deck the Halls event for Mitchell and Rachel. The wine trail has sold tickets that will bring 3100 people to the trail. Historically we see 87% of them which would be approximately 2700 guests. We will be serving a holiday gourmet soup to each visitor - a half of a cup or 4 ounces. When multiplied by 2700 potential visitors that equals 10,800 ounces of soup or 84.375 gallons of soup. We will make 90 gallons as woe would be us at the next wine trail meeting if we were short of soup by few ounces - a public wine trail flogging! We also discussed staffing - 22 team members will be needed on Saturday which is the busiest day.
It was yet another double header wedding weekend at Glenora with weddings and receptions taking place on both Friday and Saturday. Today, Sunday, we have a group of 55 people who will be joining us for lunch and then a tasting. As part of the tasting, the editor will be giving them a brief history grape growing and wine production in the Finger Lakes viticultural area and at Glenora.
Finally the power of social media, websites, etc.. Several of the folks (many were millennials) who attended last Saturday's "Flannel and Foliage Dinner" at Knapp's Vineyard Restaurant had found the information by viewing the Cayuga Wine Trail website and then the Knapp Wine site. Almost all of the attendees were from outside the area-Philadelphia, Boston, etc. and had been looking for something to do while visiting Finger Lakes Wine Country - we have several new friends!
According the weather gurus the dress code for next weekend's Nouveau event at Glenora may include Carharts! But not to fear, as Maintenance Engineer Joel and his team have plans to bring in portable heaters-the ones that meet all of the building code (in this case tent) specifications.
Thought for the Week: Laughter
"The most wasted of all days is one without laughter."