May 23, 1999
We just returned from a trip down to San Francisco to celebrate Brendan and my birthdays in May. The site for our meeting was Boulevard Restaurant, and its location right at the foot of Mission St. on The Embarcadero, also afforded us the opportunity to see the fireworks show over the Bay (the KABOOM Sky Concert) at 9:20 presented by KFOG radio station in San Francisco. The food was some of the best - if not the best - we've ever had.
Just 15 minutes ago, we received a recorded phone message from Mark Koransky letting us know that he and Marsha just added another potential wine drinker to their family - Mason William Koransky - born on Saturday, May 22nd, at 7:18 p.m. (just as we were having our first of many courses at Boulevard), a healthy, happy, 22-inch, 7 lb. 15 oz. bouncin' baby, who according to Mark - "came out crying for Estate Cuvee." We send them our heartiest congratulations! Hopefully, Mark and Marsha will celebrate soon with a bottle of Estate Cuvee.
May 25, 1999
Dennis Betts came by this morning. I may have mentioned his name before, but not lately. Dennis and his brother Randy have been doing work for us since we started the winery in 1994. Dennis is one of those all-purpose handymen who is suddenly being discovered. He used to have a regular, steady job near Annapolis, California, which is almost out to the Sonoma coast and is actually being mentioned a lot lately as a new grape appellation. He used to have to drive that winding road out there, at least sixty miles round trip, every day. I can't remember how it occurred, but most of his jobs are now in and around Healdsburg, which is my great fortune. At this time, he is working at the local General Motors car dealership in Healdsburg. His real expertise is concrete and if any of you have been by here in the last couple of years and have noticed all the concrete around here, it is because Dennis and Randy can put in concrete with drains for less than asphalt. They are a real bargain and I try to convince them of that and compensate them accordingly.
This brings me back to this morning when Dennis came by to talk more
about the new building we are hoping to erect this year. To elaborate briefly
on this building, we are planning to construct a very big storage building
that may eventually have a hospitality center above it on the second floor,
which could look out over the pond on our property. While Dennis was here,
he casually mentioned that he would be willing to pick up my labeling machine
in Santa Rosa and even though I wondered if he really had time for this,
he said "of course." Due to his help, I now have a nice new, bright, shining
fully-automatic pressure sensitive OMB labeler in my winery at this very
moment which arrived from Italy last week. We also have the labels for
the Sauvignon Blanc and Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc and can now release
those two wines. The labeling machine is physically very, very impressive-looking
because it is all stainless steel, with only a few plastic and rubber parts
that are necessary for applying the labels. It also spins the tin foil
capsule onto the neck of the bottles. I am still waiting for the filler
and corker, which will obviously be the first part of this automatic operation,
and I will explain in more detail about that equipment when it arrives
from Italy - hopefully soon.