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It’s no surprise, I am a stay-at-home Mama who, in between lunches and snacks and during naps and when Scott comes home, attempts to get stuff done for this business. Things I do include posts to this blog; photographing the land and whatnot; posting those pics; writing and researching newsletter content; laying out the newsletter and programming it for online viewing; FaceBook and twitter chitchat; setting up our e-store; resetting up our e-store; working on ideas that continue to get our story and wine out there; fulfilling requests (send me your labels, we need pictures of you, some wine pictures, please, a shelf-talker would be nice etc.); keeping up on blogs and responding if I have something to say; designing imagery for use in newsletters/shelf-talkers/etc.; and probably much more that I can’t recall, or have conveniently forgotten for varying reasons.

It’s the same with Scott, who, with a full-time job has to organize  and coordinate a plethora of vineyard and marketing and sales stuff in his “smoking breaks” or before he leaves for work, of if there’s still time when he comes home, to do it then. It can be crazily overwhelming at times. But we do it as best we can.

So I thought I’d invite you into my last project — a bottle image photo shoot, complete with my little helper, Sam — to give you an upclose look at being out there and trying to “live the life”:


Excuse us, Piggy Pig, While We Set Up the Shoot

Now We're Getting Fancy

My Helper, Busy At Work

The End Product -- We'll Take It!

Even if we had the resources, I suppose I wouldn’t want it any other way; we’re like Pearl Jam, in the early years, doing it all ourselves and keeping it from the heart, and real. That’s how we like to do it.

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Looking eastward on north fence line/photo location: Hay Ranches, on shared easement

When we bought our property, we put in an 8-foot deer fence to encircle our parcel of 160 acres; done as a joint project with our neighbor, this same fence contains his adjoining 160, making what’s supposed to be a quiet deer-free “preserve” of 320 acres. Sometimes this has not been so, as we’ve had deer in a few times. The first time was when we first put the fence up, a small band became enclosed, so diverse and large was the area, they simply got stuck in. Then there have been some “how did they get in here?” moments, when we’ve found an errant deer wandering around. Thankfully, at every time, we’ve been able to get them out unharmed, still unsure of how they got in, although we have our suspicions (gate left opened overnight, for example). But to make sure the fence was not compromised in a more remote locale that gave them opportunity for entry, I went out walking it with Jack the dog this past weekend.

Mt. Hood behind the wheat / photo location: Hay Ranches, from shared easement

We did the North parcel on Saturday, the south parcel on Sunday. And weren’t both days glorious. Not too hot, not too windy. Mt. Hood pretty much in full view.  A lot of stop-and-scan, stop-and-scan action, keeping an eye out for any bounding creature rustled up out of the high wheat, or ears pricked in our direction. With the wind blowing our scent away, and quieting our crunching footsteps, we did manage to get a good 8-10 feet from a doe grazing OUTSIDE the fence. Best doe-y eyed glance I’d ever seen so close, when she was finally on to us, and then she bounced away.

Not the deer we snuck up on, but one we startled

Turns out the fence is just fine, and other than a number of dig-throughs/unders from fox or coyotes or badgers or whatever else might be coming on in, there were not places an unprovoked deer might. Jack had one tick on him rendered harmless by his tick treatment; I thought I might get some, walking through the tall grasses, arms raised in a tick-like surrender, but nothing, whew! I have to do that walk around more often. It’s quite a workout, and the scenery is crazy beautiful.

Here’s a link to more of the weekend’s pictures I popped onto Facebook.


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With some days now between our return from the Empire State (my home state) and our James Beard Foundation “Columbia Valley Terroir” event, we’ve had a chance to actually think about how good it all was — the weather — not too cold, not too warm; our hotel, the Affinia Shelburne in Murray Hill fresh and comfortable; the Flower District and our hunt for table decorations a good jaunt and fun peek into the day-to-day of that busy city; Sarge’s Deli on 3rd Ave now Scott’s #2 for best sandwich ever (the first is a sandwich shop in Brooklyn, near Flatbush Ave, I believe) ; fresh bagels with whitefish spread for breakfast; an outing to Central Park and to the American Museum of Natural History to see the dinosaur bones recently discovered by Sam in a Curious George book; but most importantly, our James Beard Event. Up until we showed up that evening, we wondered, “How would people like our wines and their food pairings?” We found out: They LOVED them!
The two things that we heard the most, specifically about our wines were:

1.  “I never liked Riesling until now.”
We’ve heard this many times before. Seems like people we’ve run into have an aversion to the sweet sweet, because with no residual sugar, Leroy’s Finest is far from it. Still fruity, but bone dry.

2. “We can’t believe wine like this is already coming from a young vineyard.”
People were amazed at the how such interesting/complex wines (THEIR words) could come from a first harvest/vintage. Most memorable was when Scott spoke to one avid drinker/collector of First/Premier Growth Bordeaux/Burgundy at length, and after dinner he came up to us, looked Scott in the eye, and with some astonishment told him he couldn’t believe this wine was just our first vintage, adding that our future potential was tremendous. He said it two or three times.

All in all, a great evening, a refreshing weekend, even if it was mostly business.

I posted some pictures on facebook (don’t need to be member for this link) on The Grande Dalles page (need to be member for this link), if you’re interested –I didn’t get too many, since Scott and I were “working the room.”

Thank you everyone who attended — it was a great evening. We love New York!



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