Finally got a bit of rain. It smelled good and the dark skies looked good. It sounded good on the roof. Things have greened up a little already, but not so much that it look lush or anything. Just a little green. Green is good. Green is alive and growing. Alive and growing is good. It's good in nature and its good in people.
We had the great pleasure of hosting author Pat Blakely last evening in the tasting room at Texas Heritage. Pat has recently published her first novel, an historical fiction, set in sixteenth century Virginia. Pat did a highly informative and fun "Author Talk" and then fielded questions from the audience. For those of you who know her, Pat is a cheerful, loving woman who is pleased with her life. She is 83 years young, but looks half of that number. Her son, fellow author and musician, Mike Blakely, introduced his mom. It was sweet and touching and made us all smile. The best question of the night came from the youngest attendee, Salem, who was beaming from ear-to-ear when Pat told her she loved her question. I'm glad I was there. I'm glad we facilitated this little gathering. Pat is a perfect example of someone who is still "green and growing". She is still learning and searching for unfound knowledge and experiences to add depth to her life. Texas Heritage will have to search for more of these types of gatherings...when it feels right.
I am now a proud, card-carrying member of one of those BIG BOX stores in the city. I joined online yesterday and ordered 2500 pounds of imperial sugar....a pallet of sugar. Today I took my husband Billy's pickup and drove to Austin to pick up the load of sugar. The reason I did this is simple....to save money. Not on the sugar, but on the shipping. It was going to cost almost $600 to get my pallet of sugar to the winery. I'm just too tight to spend that for convenience. So, I went to pick it up. When they fork-lifted the pallet onto the back of the pickup, I literally thought the back tires were going to blow out. The entire vehicle was angled with the weight. But, I made it back to Fredericksburg just fine. However, if you ever find yourself in a situation like this, take your bungee cords and rope with you.....they do not sell those items at the BIG B.
Lastly, I wanted to share that in the next two weeks we will be releasing four new wines. (3 Reds and 1 White). The reds were from the 2016 harvest and the white was harvested in 2017. In the three reds is our FIRST Estate wine, an Estate Tempranillo. We think it is really good. Really lip-licking, last drop dripping good. As all wines are, it was a true "labor of love" from driving the t-posts to planting to harvesting to fermenting to bottling. We hope you love it as much as we do!
Almost a month into selling wine to the public. Hectic, happy, hilarious - my new chosen life.
Top 3 good things:
1. 99.9% of the people who come in are happy. They have decided to take a moment to try something new.
2. 100% of the people who work with us are fabulous, easy to be with and loving.
3. It is an awe insprining thing to try something very, very new and challenging and exciting and scary. I am trying to see that as "growing".
Reinforcement happens about ten times a day that every person has a story, a gift. People need people. They need to tell their story, their "thing". Being a good listener is hard. Billy Johnson is a great listener. He can listen so well. He makes great eye contact, he leans in, he nods and affirms the story teller. He has a gift. People feel more important around him.
Their was an entire book devoted to working on habits to be more successful. One of these habits to was something to the effect of "seek first to understand, then be understood". Seems like that is listening. I am going to try to do that better!
Whirlwind last seven days. But, Texas Heritage Tasting Room is open! Those days are mostly a blur, however, so that you can have a mental picture, those days include: Septic Tank installed and approved, wine moved in from our winery building, health department approval, water tested and approved, merchandise moved in, labelled and organized, plants planted in planter boxes out front, rack cards received, new employee meeting, point of sale system training, and the list goes on.
A special thanks to our kids who work daily with us; Cody in the vineyard and Jessica in the tasting room. It's a bit frightening to work with a pair of crazy, type A parents, who mostly still treat you like you are ten years old, but they are troopers!
I could expound on the virtues of Marti Perkins, our tasting room lead person, however, there is not enough space for that. Suffice it to say that she is so talented, funny, sweet, creative and we are truly blessed to have her on our team.
Friends are like gifts that seem to keep on giving and we need to mention a few who have given and given and given to Billy and I. Tim and Janie Davis are always saying "yes" and they deserve a Gold Medal! Judy Boone has to be one of the only people in the world who NEVER says "no". Judy's face will be seen in the tasting room on a regular basis. Teresa Welgehausen and Susan Behrends both went out of their way to become TABC certified and help with our first evening festivities. Our son-in-law jason also answers our calls for help on a regular basis. From driving a tractor, to moving junk, to pouring wine - very versatile! Son Cody's girlfriend, Brenna Manzare, also helps in many ways and ALWAYS has a smile!
Our two children who don't work every day with us, but work often with us are Amber Johnson George, who consults with us on lots of things, but is totally in charge of our merchandise and John Parker who has helped in the cellar taking care of our wine in barrel.
My sister, Loine Kauachi, has helped in so many ways. Picture this: she designed our fireplace on the back deck, did the food for the reception, and is getting ready to set up a sales case for her hand-made sterling jewelry. She is super talented and always my "go to" resource for help.
Finally, as a new business, Texas Heritage Vineyard has a pretty steep learning curve. That curve has been straightened out a lot with help from my BFF KK Welch, owner of Majesty Tours. She and sister Kelly, have trusted us with wine tour groups on our opening weekend. That's a lot of trust! Thanks Majesty!
Come see us! Its a fun place to be: 3245 E US Hwy 290, Fredericksburg. Hours are 11-6 from Thursday to Monday. Sundays 12-6pm.
Check out our coming events. Join our club. We want you and we want to show you our Texas Heritage hospitality.