Busy Stretch…

July 3, 2010

The last few weeks have just flown by, and we’ve been as busy as the bees who are hovering in the clover that is dominating the pasture. This post will likely morph in the next several days as we fill in the details.
The first weekend of the month we did vineyard prep with the help of a local Bobcat operator, and used a 4 foot X 18 inch auger to put in the couple of hundred vine holes. On Monday the 7th, we attended the season opener of La Garagista in Barnard VT and were hosted to an excellent tasting and dinner honoring the visiting guest Silvano Breschianini (barone Pizzini) and his delightful Verdicchios and Sparkling wines from Franciacorta, Italy.

Wednesday the 9th was the 2nd annual conference of the VT Grape and Wine Council held at the Three Stallion Inn, Randolph, VT. The following morning, got up early to go and pick up our vines from Andy Farmer of Northeast Vine Supply in West Pawlet, VT.
Was hoping to make it to the Lincoln Peak Vineyard grand re-opening on Saturday afternoon, before a local Stockbridge wine party ( follow-up gathering from the Chilean Crush party), as well as a trip to Dunham, QC for La Cles de Champs festival on Sunday…just could not swing the extra mileage, and had to spend the time amending holes and planting. Made progress on that project during the week, and got most of the Chilean reds 2010 racked and ready for malo-lactic fermentation.
A blazing run down to NYC on Friday afternoon to meet up with a good friend just back from his 2nd tour of Afghanistan, and back again late Saturday night, so that we could make it to the Stowe Wine and Food Classic Grand tasting on Sunday.
We took my dad again, as a Father’s day gift, like last year, and it was a great day. Unlike last year which was a deluge, the sky only opened up once and early on, leaving the rest of the day a bit sultry until it cleared in the late afternoon. The heat had me focusing on white wines, and I really did not take time to make lasting notes, as it was a day to enjoy the tastes and the time together. I did get to have a chat with David O’Reilly of O’Reillys and Owen Roe fame…we’ve been great fans of the Abbot’s table for a few years now, and are very grateful for the allocations that John Fagan has been able to secure through Calmont Beverage. VT has a great relationship with this winery, and we are so fortunate that they produce stellar value at reasonable prices. Word is that three Vermonters participated in the last harvest, and the place is still in operations. I even got to try a bit of the 2008 O’Reillys Dubrul Vineyard Riesling, which is a mini production of 70 cases, and is mind boggling good…and only $20 or so! Get on their mailing list for the short run stuff, but keep your eyes open on the shelves and their Pinot Gris is a great intro.
After the classic, we caught dinner at Santos 311 Mountain Road, Stowe VT.  Senor Miguel had been at the classic serving up a dish like other restaurants under the tent, but he threw down…ceviche.  A beautiful orange claze around the black grouper was stunning with the whites I was tasting…enough so that I asked if they were serving that night.
Si. We were the first ones inside at 5pm and I cannot wait to return.  The Choclo Y Conejo appetizer I had, alone was worth the stop.
Monday afternoon zipped up to Montpelier for the monthly meeting of the VT Grape and Wine Council…beautiful woodwork in the old building that the Ag Dpt inhabits.  A focused group, preparing for show at upcoming festivals, as well as next years conference.   Committee work to clarify labeling to indicate products that are 100% Vermont grown or sourced.
The last of the vines were planted this morning and cut a bunch of hardwood stakes. I’m off to pick up the grow tubes, and will get cracking on installing those. Wednesday night is la Garagista #2 where we will be dining with Tiziana Formi who is the winemaker for Velonosi, and the person responsible for the Lacrima Di Morro that lifted me out of a mid-winter funk, not so many months ago…
And then there is the event we’ve been organizing at Tozier’s on Thursday night at 6pm. Six wines and a number of favorites from a local landmark…Rt 107 Bethel, VT.
The last leg was a fast trip up to the Burlington Wine and Food Festival, promoted by Vermont Wine Merchants for the Friday trade tastings and lectures. I got there in just enough time to catch the 3pm lecture with Kevin Pike of Michael Skurnik/Terry Thiesse on some seriously electric German wines, followed by a quick taste at Kevin’s table, and then over to the Sake lecture…three really enjoyable cups, one was very serious.
My father-in-law has been visiting for a couple of days and returning to home in Chile today, so last night we had a little food and wine gathering, and the feature of the evening was a 1988 Don Melchor that he had in his celler and brought with him, along side a 2005 Don Melchor from our own stash.
We weren’t sure what to expect…and the 1988 was EXCELLENT and actually made the 2005 seem thin.
If there is any question about the aging potential of the higher end Chilean wines…it has been answered in this case.

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