It has been an eventful month since last post, starting with a Valentine’s getaway, meandering into a snowstorm in the Middle East, and finally ending with a possible solution for replacing my vine. In parallel with, and because of, this unusual string of events I have not yet started my first kit, but rather been slowly building up my winemaking supplies in preparation. All of these things have contributed to a growing excitement about the coming year.
For Valentines, the wife and I enjoed a little getaway from San Diego to the nearby historical gold rush town of Julian, which has been adding tasting rooms and a vineyard here and there over the last decade or so. Only a couple of local vineyards producing wine from their own grapes, but at least one of the tasting rooms is aspiring to add to that in the coming years. While an enjoyable round of tastings there were no leads on acquiring a replacement vine.
Next was a trip to Amman, Jordan for the day job, which put everything on hold for a few weeks. I had hoped to visit a winery in Jordan and had settled on the Zumot Vineyard since they had a tasting room in Amman. However, a snowstorm hit on the only days I had free and I found myself snowed in, as the storm shut the city down. Ultimately, with too much work to prepare for, before, during and after the trip, things have slowed with the vineyard and winemaking.
In the week since returning from Jordan, there has been some progress which should lay the foundation for both vine growing as well as wine making. After long hours of searching, and numerous unanswered emails, looking for someone who would sell dormant rootstock in quantities under 25, I believe I have finally found some love from Vintage Nurseries here in California. I received confirmation via email that they would sell me just two dormant rootstock. They may be making an exception for me given their FAQ states that 25 vines is the minimum order, however their order form suggests one can order from 1-100 via the online form. I will confirm with Vintage when I finalize my order to see if they would be a viable option for others looking for small quantities of vines.
On the winemaking side, I have been finalizing all the bits of kit I will need to make things conducive to a winemaking station in the house proper. Perhaps the most interesting bit for me is the All In One Wine Pump that I am hoping will eliminate considerable mess and avoid having to move carboys about. Steve, the man behind the pumps, is one of those genuinely friendly individuals who seems to want nothing more than to share the opportunity for great wine making and truly stands behind his product. I will have more on the experiences with the pump in the coming posts, I had an opportunity to take it for a test drive and must say I am literally pumped up to use it!