It's been a long year since the last grape harvest, incredibly challenging but as far as wine goes, everything I might have hoped it would be if you spoke with me a year ago. At the time I was still selling my first vintage of Oregon Pinot Noir, from 2009, and I continued to sell that wine for more than a year from original release. Sales were steady but just not fast. I guess everything you hear about the wine business is true. It's not easy.
But I took heart in a friend's words predicting that year two would be much better, as things gained momentum, as I continued to work hard and tried to remain charming, sincerely so of course. Those words proved true and the 2010s sold in half the time as the 2009s, and the reality that this project might really be working began to sink in.
Now it's late September again and I'm releasing the newest wines, my 2011s, after several months of being sold out of the prior vintage. In truth, the secret to my success is to not make too much wine. Still, it's interesting how that prediction about year two proved so true. I think about it a lot.
And now my fourth harvest as a commercial wine producer approaches. It wasn't long ago that I was making wine in my garage, opening the door once a year to let friends, neighbors, even blog readers come by and try my home made (but I believe commercial quality) wines. I moved out of the garage and into a commercial facility in 2009. This fall I've moved the operation to the new Southeast Wine Collective on SE Division and 35th in Portland. Stop by the tasting room if you're in the area. It's gorgeous.
If you're in the area this weekend, I'm holding a public tasting and sales event at the new winery, from 1-5pm this Saturday. There is no charge, but we will have all the wines for sale if you're interested. I'm sincere though in saying that there is no expectation to buy. Come see the new winery and taste my newest wines. We even have a garage door entrance just like the old days here at the house in NE Portland.
And if you're in the area next Tuesday, the plan is to harvest the first small amount of Pinot Noir from the 2012 vintage. Fruit should be coming in over the next few weeks but it's always exciting to get started. Being in town, we're particularly convenient for those interested in volunteering to help sort grapes on days we're bringing in fruit. Let me know by commenting or email me. We'd love to have you.
And if you're not local but want to follow the progress of harvest, I'll do my best to update things here. I'm busier than ever but committed to blogging the continuing saga of this crazy wine business. Read the archives to see me as a greenhorn intern back in 2005, when this site began, and follow everything to now. We're up to about 600 cases of Vincent Wine Company this fall, with plans to keep growing. It all started here, so thanks for reading and please keep coming back.