If I Think Too Much About It...
If I think too much about it, I scare myself with the prospect of opening any business, much less a vertical operation of harvesting a crop, manufacturing a perishable product, and creating a retail experience…all at the same time. I had had a garden, and had really enjoyed picking the right heirloom seeds, watching them grow with Olivia, and canning the produce. But, that was the full extent of my agricultural experience.
I fell in love with our neighbor’s vineyard. For me, it really began with a fascination for growing such a beautiful crop – the symmetry of the cordons, the lush green leaves, the bountiful fruit. It’s a peaceful setting, like a sanctuary. Also, I couldn’t believe how plentiful even a small vineyard could be. I signed up for the Viticulture Certificate Program at Tech, even before Randy had bought into the idea. I enjoyed every single minute of the 4-6 a.m. online study times before work and the field work sessions at Round Mountain Vineyard.
When our neighbor decided to open a tasting room, we were first in line to volunteer to help. Randy and I had both worked in Retail in past lives…..opening a tasting room was a cinch! We set up his tasting room and worked it with him every Saturday that summer. We loved that part, too! It was really fun meeting the customers and sharing that discovery experience with them.
Once I decided to plant my own vineyard, my original plan had been to grow grapes for sale to other wineries. I began to realize that I wanted my own wine and tasting room. As much as I loved our neighbor’s place, it was his dream and vision….and I had a different vision of my own.
So, I decided to open a casual, mostly outdoor wine venue where the agriculture will play as much of a role as the winery. Where people can congregate for music, to watch a game, and to enjoy wine! And, just as in Italy and Napa, and on Hwy 290 in the Hill Country, side by side wineries make each other even more successful. So, that’s what I'm going to do and we will all be the better for it.