Saturday, July 18, 2009

Photographing the Vineyard

We had a good thunderstorm Friday, July 17. I had things to do at the winery Saturday morning, and had my camera as I always do. Opportunity presents itself to those who are ready for it, and the morning was as picturesque as any I've seen. Cameras can capture many things. The beauty of a rural landscape is a frequent occurrence at the vineyard, and can be a rich reward for the photographer willing to greet the sunrise.

I drove out to this point in the vineyard. It is block#3 (red and white hybrids), adjacent to the entrance to the vineyard. I hopped into the back of my pickup and set the camera and small tripod on the roof of the truck. The shot was taken almost directly into the sun, and shows block#4 (Seyval) behind the lens flair.

This photo is taken from the exact same spot as the 1st photo, but I swung the camera around to photograph the winery in bright, low-angle morning light. Vineyard block#3 is in the foreground, block#2 (Chardonnay and Riesling) is below the Black Walnut tree in the center of the photo. Block#1 (mostly Cabernet Sauvignon) can be seen behind the winery building.

The photo above was taken from the top deck of the winery. In the foreground is block#2, in the distance is block#3 where I took the two pictures preceding this one. If you imagine a pickup truck in the middle of the top vineyard block, beneath the two towers, that's where I was to take the 1st two photos. Morning is a beautiful time to photograph landscapes. Customers should come out early and check it out.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 Released

Some wines are big enough to support an architectural structure. As the photo portrays (jokingly) our 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon has the structure required to support a big wooden deck. More seriously, we taste carob, leather, cherries and berries at this early stage. American oak provides a recognizable but not overpowering wood component. Wine was bottled on 7/10/09, and consisted of 338 cases. The wine is photographed on our lower deck, on the entrance level to our tasting room.

Fiesta Released

Fiesta is our sweet blush table wine. Concord grapes give it a very familiar and popular aroma and taste. Concord grapes are familiar to most people as the grape making the jelly paired most frequently with peanut butter in a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Chilled, Fiesta makes a refreshing beverage that fits perfectly with a hot summer day. Wine was bottled on 5/21/09, and consisted of 420 cases. Photo shows a bottle of Fiesta on the railing of the upper deck, overlooking the front vineyard, Massanutten Mountain, and Edinburg Gap.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Country Cookout July 11, 2009

Here's a review of the 2009 Country Cookout event. The cookout was successful enough that a decision has already been made to continue it into the future. Although we did get a good storm early in the day, the evening weather was delightful with a comfortable warm breeze, and the grounds were dry.

Food was plentiful and fitting for a picnic in the country; Pork barbecue on bun, chicken kabobs, and various summertime side-dishes. Ice tea was a welcome refreshment. Dessert was ice cream on cherry cobbler. Sweet, cool watermelon wedges were a reminder that this was a summer meal.

The band kept the evening lively, and had guests mixing it up on the dance floor. Show consisted of popular '70s covers. The pace and excitement of the music continued to build as the evening progressed, reaching a fairly loud crescendo by the end of the event at 11 PM. We had a friendly visit from a county deputy sheriff. The band was packing their equipment when he arrived. He said there was a complaint about the noise. Seeing the show had ended, the deputy said he didn't see a problem, and told us to have a good evening.

Photo shows band and guests near the dance floor during early evening. Tables near the band, and on the two decks were the most popular. Although the winemaker was present for questioning in the wine cellar, only a few guests took advantage of the opportunity. Most guests remained outdoors enjoying the beautiful evening.

We welcome recommendations for making these events more popular and successful in the future. Please don't be shy. Let's get some back-and-forth happening on this blog.