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."
With infinite options to ponder when it comes to ringing in the New Year, we thought we’d make it a bit easier on you and narrow down the ways to best celebrate the arrival of 2016 right here in the Finger Lakes at the Inn at Glenora Wine Cellars.
Your evening could look something like this…
1. BUBBLES! Check in and enjoy your complimentary bottle of Glenora bubbly in your room while taking in the beautiful view of Seneca Lake.
2. The eats. If you haven’t dined at Veraisons before, NYE is a great time to do so as the options for delicious local cuisine are endless. If a multi-course meal is what you’re looking for, our NYE Tasting Menu is the just the thing for you. Looking for something on the lighter side? Enjoy appetizers in the Harvest Lounge followed by an entrée selection or small plate from our traditional dinner menu.
3. OPEN BAR. 3 hours. Enough said.
4. Dancing. Been yearning for a good night of dancing? Now’s your chance – B&B Sound won’t disappoint!
5. Hungry from all that dancing? Find some late night snacks in the Harvest Lounge to keep you going!
6. Midnight Balloon Drop & Champagne Toast. Usher in 2016 over a glass of bubbly while balloons cascade around you!
7. Don’t want to miss the Time Square festivities and the quintessential crystal ball? Watch it live in the Harvest Lounge all night!
8. Photos – NYE isn’t complete without the perfect photo op! Snap a selfie with friends or pose with your sweetie at our ‘oh-so-cold’ photo booth on the terrace. Peak your interest? Only one way to find out what we have in store!
9. When you’ve had your fill, mosey on down to your room to sleep and wake up to the panoramic view of Seneca Lake on New Year’s Day. For you early risers, try to catch the sunrise – you’ll thank us later! Don’t forget, a decadent Breakfast Buffet will be waiting at Veraisons and check out is late.
We hope you’ll consider joining us for what will be an exciting, unique, and not to mention, delicious evening!