Saturday, July 17, 2010

Working In Wine Is Hard

Brian and I spent our week on Seneca Lake NY at a wine conference. We drove up, so that we could spend a couple of days in the city after meetings. The first day we were busy with tours of local wineries. The rest of the week was lectures and ceremonies. The week was full of vino rojo, blanco y rose. Needless to say, it was marvelous.

The two days in the city were interesting. The first night we spent with our close friend Jason and had a fabulous time. It made it worth the extra 5 hour drive. The next day we visited the MET and went to our favorite restaurant. By the next morning we were ready to leave. I guess we have had our fill of NYC over the years. Now that I am so heavily involved in wines I don’t really care to be any further than 1 hour away from a vineyard.

Because of our new direction in life we have already planned our trip next summer to SF for the Ring Cycle and a week in wine country. We are both very excited about it and having our close friend from Charlotte, Dan, join us for touring ads to the joy of experiencing wine. Life is good.

My next trip is somewhere without wine, but it is full of temples, which is my second love. I am taking my mother and my close friend Mark to the Yucatan for 2 weeks. It is going to be full of climbing, hiking and relaxing on the beach. A good break before hitting my third semester of school.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Guest Room Before

Brian and I bought a second house in Elkin, NC. It is close to my school and only 10 minutes from Raffaldini, where I work. It is a little fixer-upper in the heart of wine alley and is our little slice of heaven (well, will be once we are finished renovating). We are 30 minutes from the Blue Ridge Parkway, 5 hours from the beach, an hour from Charlotte and 30 minutes from Winston-Salem. We are surrounded by 33 wineries and vineyards...and the buen teimpo.

I am in my second year of school and truly happy. I have found my calling in wine and have decided to focus on wine making. I was able to work a judging with the HEAD of Enology from the University of Bordeau and have decided to work towards becoming a certified sommelier. It is going to be a long journey, but well worth the travel.

I have taken on my first class in Spanish and have my first test today. I think I am going to enjoy these classes, but they might not come as easy as the other classes. If I can keep up with at least a B-C in the class, I intend on taking at least 4 classes and possibly double majoring in Spanish Translation and Enology and Viti. Whew, it makes me tired just typing it.

Guest Room After

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Holidays Are Over

I made it though the first semester with flying colors. I managed to get myself on the Dean's List. This is the first time in my life that I can say "I am a good student." I am running full speed ahead with my second semester. I feel confident that I will do just as good, if not better, this semester.

This is Matloch (AKA: Matlochness Monster). Street turned House Cat. Yes, he spends his evenings at Raves, so he sleeps his day away on the bed. Cats. You can't live with them, you can't live without them.

Brian and I are closing on a house in North Carolina on the 12th. This is just in time for my birthday on the 13th. He told me a couple of weeks ago, that he wants to move up here and leave with me. We are going to do a little work on the new house and move our other home up here by the end up March. The plan is to have a rental company take care of our Athens place. It will be nice to have a little income coming in from the rental. It is hard to think about moving from Athens, but the journey is continually moving forward and Athens isn't in the picture.

I have a new line of accessories and this little hat is an example of them. I make them from recycled sweaters. They are all handmade and unique. This was the first kiddo accessory I have done and I think it turned out great. The women's are just as sassy (for the little girl in all of us). I have also been making scarves, but they are so time consuming that I am not sure they will be worth anything other than gifts for friends (but the women are loving them).

Friday, December 4, 2009

Winter and Wine Holiday Market

The past couple of months I have been trying to put together a Winter and Wine Holiday Market. Since this is the first year for my NC Holiday Market I started small, with hopes that next year it will be as big as my GA Holiday Market. One challenge was being new to the area and not yet networked, but I managed to pull together a few (11) artist and 5 vineyards. I think it will be a great market at Round Peak Vineyards and I am already looking for next year’s venue. I was able to start a blog...a little late in the game, but it is ready for next year (and possibly a spring market).

I am doing my first vineyard pruning this weekend. We are meeting up at 8am, rain or shine. It is suppose to be snowing by then. I think I am the only one that isn't worried about it. I guess all the winters on my bike in Denver have hardened me up to snow.

Finals are right around the corner and I am nervous. It is strange being a good student, you worry about grades. Who knew I had it in me? That being said, I will be spending the next 2 weeks studying for all of my comprehensive finals. I am also a little nervous about the 21 credit hours I have registered for next semester. WHEW…that and two jobs (hopefully three).

Yesterday I met Sean from McRitchie Vineyards. It was such a great experience. He is one of the most well-known winemakers in NC. He is definitely on my list of winemakers I want to work with, or should I say volunteer to work with. My list seems to grow every month.

I have been taking care of myself. Even though I can’t run, or even walk (doctor still hasn’t released me) I have been able to do yoga and pilates. I almost snuck out for a run yesterday, but was able to hold myself back. The fear of damaging my legs more and the possible of never being able to run was stronger than my desire to run. I just keep telling myself, “all in good time.” Speaking of yoga…off to the gym.

Friday, November 27, 2009


It is wonderful being home. Brian created a delightful Thanksgiving dinner for me and the family. After dinner we celebrated Lee's 30th birthday, but having friends over for cocktails. It gave me the chance to catch up with friends, while in town.

Tonight I am enjoying a movie with Brian. It is a little down time before getting back to work. It is the final weeks of classes and I will be busy studying for tests, as well as working on presentations and papers.

I have started my second winery job and have a call in for a third. If I am lucky I will have three part-time winery jobs by the end of Dec. The more time I spend working with winemakers the better chance I have of actually getting my hands sticky. Wish me luck.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Great Grapes

Lauren at Elkin Creek

I found out tonight that we are doing a doing a secondary harvest on the Shelton Cab Sauv on Tuesday. This isn't unusual, but what is unusual is that the Brix are at 21.5. Who knew? It is going to be a crazy morning, but the good news it that I can hit the road for home at noon. This means home by 4-5pm and kickin' with the dogs...Brian will make it home from work around 10ish. It will be a great night sleep!

Blaine and the family (all three kids) won't be able to make it to Thanksgiving dinner, so it is just Mom, Dad, Brian, Lee and I. It will be a nice relaxed afternoon, but what Lee doesn't know is that we are having a surprise birthday party for his 30th that evening (no, he doesn't read my blog).

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Elkin Creek Vineyard

So much has been going on in Mount Airy. Let's see if I can catch you up. School is going well. As far as I know I am getting straight As, for the first time in my life. I am very excited about being in the program and have found direction in a long time passion. Next semester I will begin my winemaking programs, as well as vineyard establishment. It feels great to be a good student, but I am a little nervous about taking 18 credit hours next semester. WHAT WAS I THINKING? For some reason I think I can...I think I can. I have decided that I will be getting an associates degree, just to have the feeling of accomplishment. I am looking into Cornell University in Ithica, NY for continuing my education. From my understanding they have a great Classics Program, so it might fit well for both Brian and myself.

I have been hired at two wineries. The first is Round Peak Vineyards, as a event planner and tasting room assistant (part-time). I have hosted two functions to day, a Skull Camp Out! and a Holiday Pairing. My other job is at Brushy Mountain Winery, as a bookkeeping and a winemaker's assistant (part-time). I start the second on Saturday. I am very excited to have the opportunity to work with a winemaker! It gets me more step closer to the end result. I have my resume into a third vineyard/winery, so fingers crossed I can add one more day of tasting room assistant to that list, so I can network even more!

Tiger Mountain Vineyard (GA)

Brian and Mom made it to town a month ago and I took them to my favorite vineyard/winery, Elkin Creek Vineyard. If you have the opportunity to order a bottle it should be the 2007 Family Reserve. It will make you want to bake bread! It is just that good. A couple of weeks later my friend, Lauren, and I returned for an interview with the owner and were talked into (no arms were twisted) become a wine club memeber. SO WORTH IT! I think I will be volunteering for the owner, Mark, next summer. I want to learn how to make wine from him. He is third generation winemaker.
Elkin Creek Vineyard (NC)

I have fallen in love with this area, so Brian and I are thinking about buying a holiday home for me to spend the next 2 years. Mount Airy is close to the Blue Ridge Mountains and since the economy has hit the area so hard it is a great time to buy. I figured I could drop my monthly expenses by buying a home...who knew! It is kind of weird being a broke college student, living month to month (10$ an hour doesn't go far). I had my eye on a crappy fixer-upper lake mountain house, but someone swept it up from under me before I had a chance to look at it. Don't fear, I will find another crappy mountain house, just not with a lake. POOP! teehee. I am heading out before work today to look at a few.

Tiger Mountain Vineyard (GA)