Date: Sat, 06 Mar 2010 22:23:10 -0800
Subject: [PV-Friends] March newsletter

Perennial Vintners In this issue:
 ▪ Mar. events: Bags & Bottles; Taste WA
 ▪ Vineyard - finished pruning
 ▪ Next work party - bottling
Newsletter -- March-2010  ▪ Next open weekend
(Click here to view in HTML on website)
 ▪ New Facebook page  ▪ P-patch gardener wanted

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

Mar. events: Bags & Bottles; Taste WA
As you are probably aware by now, PV is a fan of David LeClaire's annual events.  This year we're trying out his "Bags and Bottles".  It features boutique stores with their most current bag and purse designs, the firefighters of the WSCFF calendar, and 32 NW wineries all as a fundraiser for Gilda's Club cancer support center.  At this writing it is not yet sold out, though it's next weekend Sunday 14-Mar so click the link above to get your tickets ASAP!

If you've been following MikeL/PV for a while, you know that every year I manage to find my way to WA state's most incredible wine event -- the Grand Tasting at Taste Washington.  Although PV will not have our own table there, as in the last few years our wines will be present, amongst many other wonderfully unique Puget Sound AVA wines, and will be poured by me at the Puget Sound WineGrowers table.  This year it's Sun 28-Mar and features 200 WA wineries paired with 75 retaurants -- unbelievable!  The price has been lowered to $75 (general) or $125 (VIP early admission) -- may sound expensive, but when you realize you'll be able to taste more than 400 wines, with exceptional food, it's actually amazingly low.  Click on the link above for tickets, or check with your local wine shop, they may also sell tickets.

Vineyard - finished pruning
This last week I finally finished pruning the commercial vineyards, yay!.  Each year grapevines are pruned back severely in order to control growth and maximize crop.  The process should be completed when the grapevines are still dormant, in other words while it's still cold out.  Each year I start earlier (this year was 2nd week of Jan), and each year the plants seem to wake up before I finish...  This year the plants have come out of dormancy a good 2-3 weeks early -- as did my allergies.  (Already been a hellish allergy season and it's only just begun...)  Now that I'm past the panic of getting pruning done, I hope to take a few before/after photos of the remaining experimental vines before/after and get them onto the website so you can see how dramatic the pruning is -- check our vineyards page next week if you're interested.

The next job in the vineyard is pretty dull stuff -- just like the lawns are suddenly in need of mowing, weeding season has begun in earnest.  I don't really expect anyone to come out and help me weed, but if you're bored and would like to come out for a bit of light exercise and a lengthy chat about winegrape growing, please reply to this email and let me know you'd like to come out to work.

Next work party - bottling
Our next work party is to bottle the remainder of the 2009 Frambelle raspberry port-style dessert wine.  We ran out of bottles in our February work party, but now have plenty to finish the job.  If you're interested in helping out with this (03,04-Apr) or any other vineyard or winery task, please reply to this email, or join our pv-helpers email list at the website.

Next Open weekend
The next scheduled open weekend is Sat & Sun 13,14-Mar-2010 from 10am-5pm.  For those who may have missed the debut of our 2009 Frambelle raspberry port-style dessert wine, here's your chance.  Be sure to mark your calendar right now so you don't miss out -- it is truly a delicious wine and I do expect it to sell out, though we made more than last year so it should last more than last years 3 weeks!

New Facebook page
As a member of the PV email list, you are probably aware that MikeL spent most of his pre-vineyard/winery life as a computer nerd-geek.  I've been skeptical of Facebook for years, but have finally given in to the inevitable and have created a page for Perennial Vintners.  When I created it a couple weeks ago, I told only 2 friends about it, yet it suddenly has 9 members -- hummm, guess I'm going to have to take this seriously.  There may be a more direct way, but if you simply enter "perennial vintners" into the search box on your home page, you'll find it.

P-patch gardener wanted
If you've visited PV, you know we have a garden space next to the vineyard.  Last year it was utilized by the Soup Garden ladies to grow the vegetables for their product at the BI Farmers Market.  I'm sorry to say that they will not be doing it again this year (they've gone separate ways).  However, this Spring we're making room to expand the vineyard, and thus will be moving the garden from it's current place next to the driveway, up to the bottom of the lawn/field.

I do not have time to maintain this garden myself, and am hoping I can find someone who is looking to do a private P-patch arrangement.  The area is entirely protected within the deer fence, I have all the tools, irrigation with drip tape is ready to go and water is free from my pond.  Your only expense would be  the time you spend planting, maintaining and harvesting.  I'll pay for some seeds, and will do the big stuff like rototilling and running the water when needed.  Sound too good to be true?  "What's the catch" you're thinking?  Yes, there is a catch -- you get to take care of my 20-someodd artichoke plants along with your stuff in the garden -- that's all.  There will be plenty of artichokes for you to take some home too.  If interested, please reply to this email.  (Feel free to forward this to any possibly interested parties.)