Friday, December 6, 2013

The Off Season

Thought I would dust off the ol' blog as it has been awhile since I have had a moment to write.  My how life has changed since I first started writing in 2009.  I used to post several times a week!

I kept thinking that after we closed the winery for the season, we would somehow end up with all this free time. Suddenly we'd put the "closed" sign up and spend the next seven months hibernating, sitting on the couch in our pajamas, sleeping in, relaxed...

At least that is what I had fantasized in my head.  And I'm not sure what planet I was living on when I thought that.

It has been quite the contrary.

Quite the contrary.

I once heard Walter Bond (former Gopher basketball player and current motivational speaker) speak and his whole topic was about what he did on the off-season.  That's when he worked the hardest to improve and get ready for the next season and that is how he became better and more successful.

So, while this is our "off-season," it is going to be time spent getting ready for next year.  Coming off the high of such a successful 2013, we are anxious build on that momentum to grow and improve and get ready for an even better 2014.

Don't get me wrong, we've had some nights to relax and have thoroughly enjoyed spending some uninterrupted family time.  The cold bug hit our house once already, which forced us to spend some time resting.  Nothing like a sickness to remind us that we need to take it easy once in a while.

But, we've also spent some time doing the following:
  • Getting our wines into local liquor stores and doing in-store tastings.  We continue to add more stores, but currently we are in Legacy Wine and Spirits and Colony Plaza in Waconia, and Century Wine and Spirits in Chanhassen.  The Ground Round in Waconia will be serving our wine and some other restaurants in the works!
  • Pairing up with local business on events.  We participated in the D.E.A.R (hunter's widows weekend) and did some wine sampling of our wines at Mackenthun's Fine Foods.  We area also teaming up with them for a holiday appetizer class next week!
  • Putting a brand on our honey wines--to be revealed SOON!  One of the greatest things about opening the winery has been meeting all sorts of new people, making new friends, finding our enthusiasts and supporters and discovering our customers' talents.  One of our customers is a designer and she has put together a pretty awesome label design for our new brand and we are excited to see it on the bottle!  If we can pull this all together, we hope to get it rolled out and available for New Year's as it makes a great toasting wine!
  • Getting the ground work done to prepare for building the new winery building.  Unfortunately, now with this freeze, it may be on hold until spring, but we got a good start!

  • Barreling wine, racking wine, making wine for our next year's vintages!
  • Trying to enjoy the typical chaos of all the projects going on in our house.  Over this last year, amidst opening a winery, caring for two small children and holding down full-time jobs, we have been doing some remodeling work on the old farmhouse we call home.   We are taking it one project at a time, which means it has been drawn out and our house is in perpetual remodel mode. House projects plus a loose cannon husband, plus two small children always opens the door for some drama.  There could, for instance, be an open can of paint left out one day that our newly walking one year old could discover, spill all over the rug and her freshly washed pajamas.  And the dogs could come over and run through it and leave painted paw prints all over the wood floors while my two year, who has stripped off his pajamas by himself, dances around the house wearing nothing but a cowboy hat.  And Aaron could be out in the winery at the time racking the wine from our 2013 harvest and I could run out there in my slippers frantically carrying a baby with paint on her hands like gloves and toss the baby into his arms and tell him he needs to clean her off before she tries to eat it while I get the dogs out of the house so I can clean up the paint in the house without kids and dogs walking all over it!! And the paint could, for instance, still be on their tails weeks after this incident...
I mean, something like that could happen around here.  Not saying it has or anything...

Looking forward to an eventful holiday season!  It will be 2014 in the blink of an eye!