Saturday, August 22, 2009

Crazy Lady Winemaker

It's been the coolest summer in recent memory so perhaps the weather is a cause. Or, maybe it's something in the wine. The fact is, Coyote Karen has gone crazy and caught refer madness. Cuidado vineyardista loca!
The tell tale sign of a crazy lady in Blue-Merle Country is a 40-foot container in the front yard. Karen put one of those out by her vines yesterday. Pass me the papers, I'm ready to certify her. She started out her winemaking adventure intelligently by planting a 250-vine boutique vineyard. The perfect size. Small enough to be a hobby. In retrospect, the warning signs were there such as moving barrels of wine from the garage into the kitchen during the summer months. But earlier this year, she crossed the point of no return by clearing another acre of land and adding another 500 vines. Goodbye hobby: welcome prison -- chained to the vineyard for life. I suspected she lost a screw at that time. I was right. She made beautiful plans to build a winery guest house on the property, which would also serve as a tasting room. But then she saw an advertisement for a refrigerated container (hence the name "refer"), cleared the space and yesterday it arrived, driving down property values in the neighborhood and prompting jokes on Twitter: Question: Who makes the best container wine? Answer: Coyote Karen @shermigirl

Thank goodness I don't have Crazy Lady syndrome. How would craziness manifest itself in a man? Planting a vineyard larger than he could possibly manage? Contracting to purchase tons of grapes without the facilities to ferment them? Writing stories about loca vineyardistas, vinogirls and Texas hot-pants wine pourers?

The Queen of our little boutique winery just made a suggestion, "Why don't we dig into the hillside by our house and put a container like Karen's in there and cover it with dirt and use that as our wine cave?" Now that's an interesting idea.

6 comments:

Vinogirl said...

Been there, done that. A 20' container is perfect for fermenting up to four half ton bins of yummy grapes!

Craig Justice said...

It must be "vinsanity".

Vinogirl said...

We painted it the same colour as the barn and put an apex roof on it...it looks OK :)

Craig Justice said...

Painting Party at Coyote Karen's this Sunday. I suggested she paint it "girl pink". She raised her eyebrow with a scowl that almost disolved me. Vinogirl, can you post a picture of your container, or send a link to a picture on your site? Yours must look like something out of the Cottswolds ... do you have sheep outside it mewing the grass?

Tom said...

Craig,
Here's a bit of info on the TA testing.
-Tom http://www.extension.iastate.edu/Wine/Resources/titratableacidity.htm

Tom said...

Craig,
Here's a bit of info on the TA testing.
-Tom http://www.extension.iastate.edu/Wine/Resources/titratableacidity.htm