The COVID-19 pandemic has brought many changes to everyone including our winery, which has been closed since March 17th. However the vineyard and wine processing remains constant. The grapevines don’t wait to bloom and the wine in the tank won’t wait to be bottled. Currently (as of mid-April) we are open for curbside service and allowed to sell bottles only to be consumed off-premise. During the time of shutdown, we will donate 50% of every bottle of wine purchased to the Knoxville Hospital & Clinics Foundation in gratitude for our medical teams.
Vineyard work continues
Pruning of the vines is complete and we are anticipating bud-break, which should happen by the end of the month, given the weather warms up quickly. It will be business as usual in the vineyard as we continue to monitor the growth and health of the vines throughout the season.
Bottling new wines
Last week Mike and I bench-tested and bottled 32 cases of white wine including a new dry wine, the 2018 vintage of Speedway Sweet, and a new dessert wine. We also bottled 45 cases of wine made from Leon Millot grapes producing 3 versions ranging from dry to sweet. This includes Storybook 2019 (dry) which is probably one of our best wines yet, very similar to a Pinot Noir. I am working on design and approval of the labels for all of these new wines now.
For now all indoor events with large groups are cancelled and there is nothing scheduled until June 6 when we are planning a painting class. We will evaluate the status of events as updated state protocols unfold. Outdoor activities may be considered while the winery is closed, such as vineyard hikes or other forms of entertainment permitted for small groups.
No one knows when things will be back to normal, and what that new normal will be. Mike and I will continue to work to bring you the best wine possible and hope someday soon you will be able to enjoy it with us and your loved ones.
Mike Van Natta
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