I’ve been away from the blog for a couple of weeks now so I wanted to give everyone an update.
Permits – I’ve now had two telephone interviews with the TTB and I’m waiting for my Federal permit any day now. I’m almost done preparing the permit documentation to be submitted to the state of Massachusetts. But the TTB permit is a requirement before Massachusetts accepts the state application… The key word in this entire process has been "patience".
Equipment – Last week I received most of the winery equipment that I had ordered… this included a press, a chiller and a pump. Immediately run into problems because the chiller requires 3-phase electric power when the winery building only has 1-phase… at least that’s what my landlord had told me. Luckily Mark was wrong and there is indeed 3-phase at the winery. Dodged a bullet with this one… it would have been a nightmare to try to return the chiller for a single-phase version. Early next week I should be receiving two 580 gallon stainless steel tanks that will be used for fermentation of both red and white grapes. These tanks were custom ordered and manufactured in Germany and fully loaded with features including jackets for chilling/heating and manholes… yes I did say manholes :-)
(I think the official name is "manway")
Winery – The front door at the winery should be taken down this week in preparation for a wider door so that the tanks can get through the entrance and into the winery. Having a wider door will also help move pallets in and out of the winery. My friend Bela Fogarty started giving me ideas as to how I can best organize the incredibly small 1,069 square feet of space I have to play with inside the winery. It would be nice to have a good sized area for the tasting/sales room but I need to leave enough space for the actual winemaking… really excited about the sketches Bela has sent me thus far.
Website – Have you seen the latest and greatest version of the website? If not take a look and as always feel free to comment. It’s been up for about three weeks now. I’ll be adding a lot of new content to the site whenever time allows it.
At Running Brook – We've bottled several of the 2007 wines which will be resting in the bottle for a few months before release. Started checking sugar levels, pH and flavors on this year’s crop. The Pinot Gris and one of the Pinot Noir clones seem to be ahead of everything else. I'm starting to get excited about this winemaking season. A year ago my attitude was... "Marco, just don't screw it". I think I succeeded for the most part though it really remains to be seen when we start opening the finished and bottled wine. This year I'm going in with a little more confidence but we still need the weather to cooperate so that the grapes ripen while developing good flavors. We are a mere two weeks away from madness 2008… I mean harvest 2008.