It’s that time of the year again.. Lengthy speeches, lofty promises, and resolutions that are abandoned as quickly as they are made. Ah, 2015 we can only imagine what you have in store for us. Here at Dale Hollow we can promise that just as in 2014, we will be working hard at this whole “making a winery” thing. Many of you will remember this excerpt from this time last year:
What have we been so busy with to produce zero bottles of wine after all this working, writing, and taking pictures? Fret not: most of 2012 and throughout 2013 we were busy building Dale Hollow and the infrastructure required to make a winery.
Thanks to the many people who supported us in 2014, we produced and sold some wine! The 2013 Vignoles and Hiawatha Peach were released and it was thrilling to be able to share it with folks, hear stories of people enjoying it with their friends, and when it was included in special occasions. Thank you, thank you, thank you! Getting to realize a taste of what we have been looking forward to since we cooked this idea up has been great, but we continue to look forward to where this could lead and ask for patience as we increase production, move our operations and license location, and continue to work on the vineyard. We are getting there!
As exciting as all that is, it turns out that we are still working on the infrastructure stuff. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither will this winery. Here’s a quick recap on what this entailed in 2014:
1) Building the trellis, beginning with the H-braces- finally using those fabled repurposed telephone posts
(Pointing to the spot where Spencer should put the post and then watching him do it)
2) Clearing weeds, maintaining the rows and aisles, and continuing to train the young vines
3) Completing the first 13 rows of the trellis… For the life of me, I can’t seem to locate any pictures of this accomplishment. I would love to go take some pictures right now, but it’s really cold outside and snowing, so just imagine it looks eerily similar to this:
4) Obtained new land to the west (hereby and forever after proclaimed the “West Vineyard”; renaming the original vineyard the “East Vineyard”, previously known as the “North Vineyard”). That should clear up any future confusion based on our cardinal direction naming convention. Big projects including more vines and a production building will be happening on this new slice of paradise.
Therefore.. More glorious infrastructure work; including:
Chainsaw wielding, brush clearing, conservation-friendly controlled burning
And of course…. fireside yoga.
Some of you might say this all seems like a lot of work and a monumental time investment. You would be right. The secret is in how you define work and how you measure the return on an investment. Cue some Tolkien: