Winemaker's Journal catalogs the joys and sorrows of making your own, growing your own & drinking your own wine. It's a resource for winemakers & vineyard growers and a chronicle of life among the vines.
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Something Is Rotten In The State of Blue-Merle: Can You Guess What It Is?
What's in that bag?
This is a story about a foul smell at our doorstep and it's a hoot. I know about off odors in the winery (I've made my fair share of bad batches) and the vineyard (my nose detects the occasional bird rotting away in a net half devoured by Yellow Jackets or the rabbit that tries to hop through the squirrel trap, stupid rabbit). A similar scent greets me each morning as I open the front door of the house. What's that smell?! I check the netting in the nearby rows of vines. Nothing. I inspect the mouse traps outside the garage. Nothing. I search for nearby carcasses. Nothing. What is that smell? I glance at rotting greens inside a plastic bag destined for the compost pile and think, aha, this is it. Alas, not. And then something in the Starbucks bag next to the trash catches my eye (shown in the picture above). I notice the familiar scent coming from the trash can, open the lid to inspect and am overwhelmed by the stench and realize (with amazement) what the Queen has been collecting and putting into the trash by our front door. Can you guess what it is? I'll give you another hint: Owl Gore.
Our adventure started in 2004 in the garage pressing 1,000 lbs. of grapes by hand & paw, thus began Blue-Merle Winery in San Diego, California. In 2006, "Bluey"--the Australian Shepard Blue-Merle who rules the winery--had outgrown life in the city. So, we downsized the house, upsized the land and moved to Blue-Merle Country, a land where dogs run free, blessed with pomegranates & persimmons, olive trees & macadamias, and prowled by bobcats, coyotes and an occasional mountain lion. Continuously battling the challenges of steep terrain, rattlesnakes, drought and wildfires (not to mention vine-eating gophers and ground squirrels), we planted our vineyard in 2007 making hundreds of mistakes along the way. Join us and a cast of characters including Joe the Wino, Merlot Mike, Coyote Karen and Fidel (that rascal) on our continuous adventures and musings as we "Grow Your Own, Make Your Own, Drink Your Own Wine."