Date: Fri, 22 Feb 2008 09:48:07 -0800
Subject: [PV-Friends] February newsletter

Perennial Vintners In this issue:
 ▪ Open That Bottle Day - tomorrow!
 ▪ Newsletter schedule
 ▪ Vineyard -- Pruning, cuttings, irrigation
Newsletter -- February-2008  ▪ Bainbridge Farmer's Market
(Click here to view in HTML on website)
 ▪ Recent Oregon trip  ▪ March is WA wine month

(Click on any image below to go to website with more information/larger image/etc.)

Open That Bottle Day -- tomorrow!
Feb-23 is Open That Bottle Day -- an annual event to be held in your own home!  As you may have guessed, I'm a fan of Dorothy Gaiter and John Brecher -- they came up with this event 9 years ago.  The idea is that many of us have at least one "special" bottle -- a bottle that's just too special to open.  They want us to not fall into this trap -- the bottle is just sitting there (in most cases), quietly spoiling.  Very few wines will improve significantly beyond 5 years, let alone the decades many our "special" bottles sit.  John and Dottie want us to open that bottle, and enjoy it.  They point out that the memories of enjoying it, perhaps with friends, will be more valuable to you than the bottle itself could ever be.  More info on the Wall Street Journal website - OTBN Primer.

Newsletter schedule
At this time of year there's not a lot of excitement in winegrowing/winemaking.  It's a daily grind of pruning, pruning, and more pruning,  Mostly for this reason, I may be skipping monthly newsletters for a few months. Up 'til now, I have been finding things to talk about on a monthly basis, but I'm sure nobody really cares to hear "we're still pruning" each month...

Vineyard -- Pruning, cuttings, irrigation
As mentioned in the previous (Jan.) newsletter and above, we're still mostly just grinding away at pruning.  My goal had been to be done by this week, looks like I'm a little behind as I.have about one more week to go.  There's new panoramic views of pruning on the website "Our Vineyards" page.

We do have one out-of-the-ordinary thing happening at the Day Road farm where our Müller Thurgau comes from -- they're getting a drip irrigation system installed.  (Of course this means that I'm spending time helping with that work instead of pruning, which is why we're behind schedule, sigh...)  The system is being set up for the other farm crops there, but they were able to include the vineyards in the plan so that we will have irrigation available for the grapes on the occasional drought year when we do need it for a few days in summer.

Next, I'll be concentrating on finishing up making cuttings, then getting them into a nursery block.  (There's some photos of doing this last year on the website.)  Hopefully by mid-March we'll be starting to clear blackberry, scotch broom and knotweed from an adjacent property and will be moving previous years cuttings from the nursery bed out to the new area.

There's always more work to be done in a vineyard (which is why most wineries are just wineries and not vineyards).  If you're interested in learning what wine is really all about, please join our helpers email list: "Our Newsletter" click "PV-Helpers".

Bainbridge Farmer's Market
Mike has been drafted onto the board of the Bainbridge Farmer's Market this year.  It's a good bet this means you'll be seeing Perennial Vintners at the Market more frequently than last year's once-monthly.  I'm leaning toward the 2nd and 4th weekends.  If you have any thoughts on times when you're more likely to attend the Market and buy wine, I'd love to hear them -- feel free to respond to this email (it only goes to me, not the list) about it.  Also, since I'm a board member, feel free to reply just to rave or rant to me about the market...

Recent Oregon trip
This last weekend, the family took a trip to Oregon so as to pick up some winery equipment (we bought a shiny new plate and frame filter).  We visited as many Melon de Bourgogne producers as we could, and made some great connections.  Hopefully I'll find the time to put some updates onto the website in the next few weeks.

March is WA Wine month
The WA state Liquor Control Board has declared March to be WA State Wine Month.  Many retailers and restaurants have incentives to try WA wines this month -- be sure to look for them.  If your favorite place to buy wine doesn't do anything about it, you might consider asking them why not?...