I’ve decided to write my “2017 Year in Wine: A Retrospective” based on my wine events of last year. I kept a log of my activities through the year and it seems impressive, at least to me.
In January, I started the year doing what I love most—bottling wine! As much as I love taking wine out of the bottle, I really enjoy putting it in the bottle. On New Year’s Day, I helped Texas Legato Winery in Lampasas hand bottle 226 cases of wine. Then a few weeks later, I helped Blue Ostrich Vineyards and Winery in St Jo bottle 2,100 cases on Vine & Spirit Mobile Bottling Truck. Mid-month I attended the Hill Country Wine Symposium as a volunteer assistant helping set up meetings and pouring wines.
Throughout February, I helped the mobile bottling truck bottle about 2,500 cases of wine at Times 10 Cellars in Fort Worth, about 1,500 cases at Hye Meadow Winery in the Hill Country, about 2,100 cases at Valley Mills Vineyards in Waco, and about 700 cases at Inwood Estates back down in the Hill Country. I attended the Texas Wine and Grape Growers Association seminar and trade show in San Marcos mid-month. I also attended the Houston Rodeo Uncorked! Roundup & Best Bites Competition of all the Double Gold winning wines at their wine competition. Then at the end of the month, I assisted at the Pair It With the Claret Chili Cook-off at Spicewood Vineyards in Spicewood.
In March, I helped Pillar Bluff Vineyards in Lampasas hand bottle 50 cases and on the mobile bottling truck 950 cases at Lost Oak Winery in my own “backyard” of Burleson. I traveled to Austin at the end of the month to meet with state representatives about the needs of the Texas Wine Industry. That evening I helped pour wine at a Texas wine tasting in the basement of the capitol.
In April, I planned and hosted a trip to the Texas High Plains with my husband Shelly and Texas wine guru extraordinaire (and fellow Texas Wine Lover writer) Carl Hudson. I also helped the bottling truck at Blue Ostrich bottle 1,125 cases.
In May, I helped the bottling truck at Lost Oak Winery bottle 768 cases. Then mid-month, Shelly and I traveled to Houston to participate with ten others in the Texas Wine Lover’s “Battle of the Texas Mourvèdre.”
In June, I went back down to the Hill Country and helped mobile bottle 475 cases at Inwood Estates.
July saw harvests begin. I helped pull in four tons of Sauvignon Blanc at Burning Daylight Vineyards in Rendon. I helped OG Cellars in Sunset press Muscat Canelli. And I helped Lost Oak Winery bottle 1,150 cases on the bottling truck.
In August, I helped harvest 500 pounds of Petite Sirah at Texas Legato, 2.25 tons of Tempranillo at Blue Ostrich, and 4.5 tons of Cabernet Franc, and 500 pounds of Malbec at Burning Daylight Vineyards. Then at the end of the month, I helped bottle 750 cases at Blue Ostrich and 829 cases at Arché Winery also in St Jo.
The beginning of September was a grueling two-day Cabernet Sauvignon harvest at Bluff Dale Vineyards in Bluff Dale complete with processing. In September, Shelly and I poured wine at the GrapeFest Texas Wine Experience for Hye Meadow Winery in Grapevine for four days. Then the following week I helped harvest about 1½ tons of Cabernet Sauvignon at Burning Daylight Vineyards.
In October, I bottled twice at Lost Oak Winery for about 2,500 cases. Shelly and I made our first (of many, I hope) trip to Paso Robles to visit wineries and family in the area. I found out one of my cousins works at a winery as their Hospitality Director which is exactly what I want to do here in Texas!!
In November, I was back at Blue Ostrich on the truck bottling 550 cases, and the next day just down the road at OG Cellars for their inaugural bottling on the truck for 350 cases. Then back to Lost Oak at the end of the month for 800 cases on the truck.
On the first of December, I met Carl Hudson and Bill Kreitz from Fredericksburg at Brennan Vineyards in Comanche with Rebecca Conley and Todd Webster as we worked on the final blend for the Carlos and Willie Port from 4.0 Cellars. Then later that month it was off to Valley Mills Vineyards to bottle 1,100 cases on the truck. The next week was 1,350 cases on the truck at Lost Oak Winery.
If you are counting, that ends up being about 22,000 cases of wine bottled, 25,500 pounds of grapes harvested and processed, and five festival/seminar events worked and attended.
I logged over a couple thousand miles traveling back and forth to the Hill Country, High Plains, and Red River Valley. I spent enjoyable times with wonderful friends old and new. I visited several new wineries. I drank some amazing wines from both near and far, foreign and domestic. I completed two of five sessions of Wine Business Management online courses through Sonoma State, to be completed in June 2018. Even after all this, I’m pretty sure I have missed an event or two.
Now I can’t wait to see what 2018 holds for me and how busy I’ll be!!