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."