December 7, 2005
Yes, construction is indeed underway on our new winery and tasting room complex.. Exciting, yes. Daunting, absolutely. Having never done anything bigger than adding a bedroom & bath to our house in Yountville years ago (and truth be told, Martha handled the bulk of that)- this is quite an adventure, to say the least.
The first great surprise was discovering a couple of days ago that what we thought were solid brick walls in the tasting room/lab/office building are actually two layers of brick on the outside, an air-space in the middle, and one layer of brick veneer on the inside. This little discovery will require a re-engineering of the entire seismic retro-fit and structural upgrade to this building – that’s all! One can only wonder what other exciting surprises await us with each new day of demolition and discovery!
In the cellar, malo-lactic fermentation is rolling along nicely – every lot is now active. We keep the cellar at 60 degrees so as to keep the process slow and have it last as long as possible. Some barrels will finish sooner than others, of course, but we expect everything to have come to completion by the end of the first quarter…
I’m really looking forward to a little break over the holidays. We’ll be in New Orleans for a few days to help Martha’s family celebrate and re-settle after the hurricane, and then on to Atlanta to see my three older children (2 daughters in college now and a son graduating HS in the spring – does that officially make me old?!) The holidays are the world’s greatest excuse for opening up a lot of Champagne. I’ll end today’s entry with the thought that many problems would certainly melt away if we all drank more Champagne… Cheers!