We’ve had a lot of rainy days again lately. Even when it isn’t raining, it makes me feel lazy and unmotivated, and I hate wet feet. Maybe I am really part goat. I’ve spent a lot of time daydreaming about my wonderful farm market that still exists only in my mind. I guess since I’m on the Internet researching and working on ideas to diversify and visiting other places to get ideas it isn’t really dreaming as much as visualizing and planning. I also have help with this from my nephews and Mom. Now as I watch more clouds roll in, I get to do even more dreaming.
Clouds coming in from the west
Earlier today, I was sitting with the boys chatting and waiting for the next wave of rain, while Brandon was collecting his pina colada cake. We decided on the spur of the moment to go visit a winery today. We had to rule out a couple of them because of all the rain causing flooding nearby. We settled on John Ernest Vineyard and Winery in Tama. It was very easy to get to and quite picturesque.
John Ernest Vineyard
They are a small vineyard and winery, but everything was very classy. They have an outdoor patio where they have bands set up and perform on the weekends. They also have a small events center people can rent for weddings, reunions, graduations, etc. I already had planned on the live band events to draw people to the place. Now the boys have finally brought me over to their side and convinced me that we also need to add an events center to my market. I have two nephews currently working as bartenders and hosting such events, and they are correct. There is not enough nice places available to host all the events around. Most places are turning down business because they are already booked.
John Ernest Vineyard
Jeremy and I got to sample some wines. I am not a big wine drinker, but the ones I tried were pretty good. I was really surprised to try their River Bottom Red containing a blend of St. Croix, Merlot, Riesling and raspberry wines. It was a dead ringer for our sweeter truckwreck grape and raspberry wine. I even made Jeremy sample it, and he agreed. As good as their wines are, I think I still prefer our fruit wines, especially the apple based ones. I just think they have more complexity to their flavor.
Our latest apple wine
We are starting to make decisions on which wines we want to make again and start perfecting instead of dabbling. We would like to stock five to seven good wines to carry. Of course, our vines are not even producing yet, so we have to wait to find one or two good grape wines. I’m not sure five to seven will cut it if we want to have a big variety and appeal to a lot of different tastes.
As we do all this dreaming, talking and planning, I’m reminded of the movie The Field of Dreams, starring Kevin Costner. Throughout this great movie that was filmed in northeast Iowa, the main character is repeatedly told, “Build it and they will come.” That’s what I keep thinking about as I make these plans. I will build it, and they will come.