Sunday, September 27, 2009

Edinburg Ole' Time Festival

Shenandoah Vineyards participated in the Edinburg Ole' Time Festival. Our location in town was changed at the very last minute, and we were asked to relocate to the Edinburg Mill. Other vendors were located in the front parking lot, but we were told to locate in the patio area behind the flood wall in the front of the building. The new site was found to be almost ideal; a very beautiful if somewhat secluded space.

The sales tent and supplies were delivered and set up Saturday morning. Traffic was backed up in town, and vendors were open for business. Although our space was among the most beautiful in Edinburg, we realized visibility was a problem. The patio where we were located was behind a tall flood wall and behind a long row of vendors.

Unable to erect a very tall banner, few people could find us. It should be emphasized we loved the space. In the future we will have to plan appropriate signage to make our presence known. These pictures of the mill and patio were taken the week following the festival, so the activities of the previous weekend depend on imagination.

This is a view of the Edinburg Mill from the corner of the front parking lot. Stoney Creek is directly behind the camera. As with all waterways, Stoney Creek rarely but occasionally overflows its banks so a substantial and impressive flood wall was incorporated into the latest renovation of the Mill. The flood wall is the tan-orange structure capped with a row of glass or Plexiglas panels. A flood gate is visible at the left end of the wall. We were located in the patio area directly behind the corner of the wall visible in the photograph.

This is the patio area where we were located. The inside-corner of the wall corresponds to the outside-corner seen in the first photo. During the festival, large picnic tables w/shade umbrellas were placed around the patio. Civil War lectures were given in this space during the festival; the wall also dampens outside noise making for a quiet area for lectures, discussions and meetings in general.

The Edinburg Mill offered a limited opening of its museum during the festival. There is still extensive construction going on within the building. The grand opening is scheduled for spring, 2010. The patio space is open for public viewing. Donors to Mill reconstruction have their names etched into patio stone. And, of course you can feed the geese in Stoney Creek.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Hot Air Balloons

Hot air balloons are frequently seen floating near the vineyard. You most often see them in the morning or evening when winds are calm. This one was seen in the morning and descended to tree-top level in the field next to the vineyard. It was close enough to make for a good picture in the early morning light.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Harvest Festival Report

Happy faces of the winery staff, vendors, musicians and most importantly the guests, confirm the Harvest Festival was a success. First, a few pictures;

These pictures show some of the crowd gathered to watch and judge the grape stomping contest. I apologize for so few pictures, but I was kinda busy having fun giving tours and seminars inside the winery. We cleared a big open space in the winery where 50 people could sit at tables and get acquainted with the winery operation, and get helpful hints for appreciating wine. There was also plenty of room to stand when the crowd grew large. Ken Stone, a guitarist from Crystal City, VA, also entertained in the cellar space.

Immediately outside the cellar, the band, Nodrama, rocked the crowd. They're due credit for a tireless performance that energized the crowd throughout the day. They also provided the short musical interludes for the grape stomping contest. Many thanks.

Weather was cool, partly cloudy and breezy, typical for late summer. Kids didn't escape the fun. There was a children's tent with Italian ice, popcorn and facepainting, as well as llamas for petting and horses and ponies for riding.

Judging from the many thanks given to the winery staff by guests we think the festival went well. Afterward, the winery owner, Emma Randel, and her family provided the traditional after-festival supper for workers and volunteers. We're already discussing ways of making the next Harvest Festival every bit as fun and successful as the last.

Friday, September 11, 2009

30th Annual Harvest Festival

On the eve of our Harvest Festival, planning and preparations are largely complete and everything is ready to go. Everybody has worked hard and hopes are high the event will be successful. Most importantly, the weather looks cooperative, if not outstanding. Vendors and guests have already begun to arrive.

In addition to our regular band, Nodrama, we will have another musician performing in the Cellar Lounge. Ken Stone will provide solo guitar music when Nodrama is not performing. This arrangement should provide live music throughout most of the festival. The Lounge is a performance space we've opened in the cellar. It's still a little rough, but with practice it should become perfect. This space will also be used for seminars and as a gathering spot for conducting tours of the winery. (We are calling this "The Cellar Door" in honor of the famous but defunct D.C. nightclub.)

Of course we will have wine, cold and by the bottle and glass. Food and refreshments will be served. We will have horses and llamas, door prizes, popcorn and snow cones. The t-shirts feature the 30th Annual Harvest Festival logo. Vendors will have all kinds of crafty sorts of things. So, come on out and make it happen. The recovery has started, see and feel it in Shenandoah Valley.