We have an old saying: "When racking wine you're going to spill." This has been true since 2004, so it was something of a miracle last weekend when we racked 3+ barrels of wine and didn't spill a drop. No accidents. No spousal fights. The other morning as I took Bluey out for a run I noticed an inky color meandering beneath the garage door. I went back into the house, into the garage (which has been converted into a winery) to find that my worse nightmare was about to unfold: A container of wine leaning like a tower of Pisa about to tip over. (It had been placed on a wheeled stand not strong enough to support it -- of course, The Queen had warned me: "What are you thinking?" she said, about putting that container on that wheeled dolly? "It's not going to work.") As it is, only a gallon or so escaped, and I don't like that wine that much anyhow, a Petite-Sirah with the aroma of rotten eggs (more about that in another post). So here it is folks: With Winemaker's Journal, you get the good, the bad and the ugly. There's no reason to cry over spilled wine. The dog will lick it up.
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 Shepherd 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 on our continuous adventures and musings as we "Grow Your Own, Make Your Own, Drink Your Own Wine."