The leaves have long fallen and the sprinkler lines are drained. The sharp east wind blows in across the lake. We bustle about wrapping up outside projects while looking skyward for snow. Inside the cellar, fermentations have finished and new wines begin to age in fresh oak barrels and stainless tanks. It is time to breathe and reflect.
Thank you for your support this year. The winery had its best year in sales ever and we hope to continue this trend in 2012. Check out Facebook for some lovely pictures of the vineyard the day we harvested Pinot Noir. The 2011 vintage will be smooth and rich in flavor. Don’t miss the chance to taste it during Spring Barrel Tasting weekend in May!
2011 saw great progress on our new production facility and cellar. The walls are up, the roof is on, the windows in, and much of the rock work on the exterior, complete. The stately granite arch above the main door greets visitors to the valley. By next year the space will be ready for fermentation! Stop in for a tour the next time you are around.
Speaking of winemaking, I’d like to formally welcome a new staff member to Tunnel Hill. You may have met Michelle Fanton this summer in the tasting room. In addition to Colly and Kathy Jo, Michelle has become an indispensable part of our team, both in the tasting room and in the cellar. She grew up in Seattle, did her schooling in winemaking at Cornell, and worked in several Northeast wineries before coming back west.
Michelle will be wearing many hats this coming year as she manages tasting room and wine production. (Could be a summer of pure chase lounge time for yours truly!) Michelle and her husband Chad (who also works with us on the vineyard crew) live in Manson with two big, lumbering dogs. We appreciate the talents they bring to the farm and look forward to a productive new year with them on the team.
May you and your family enjoy a very happy holiday season. Take time to appreciate the stillness of these long nights. Roll around with your kids or grandkids on the carpet. Surprise a neighbor with a plate of cookies (or a bottle of wine!). It is time to be grateful of all we have.
See you in 2012!