Here we are in NJ and we have entered “Spring”  Apparently this year Spring means 40 degree differentials between a 48 hour period.  On Tuesday, we were at 78 degrees.  I had shorts and a t-shirt on and was enjoying the weather. Wednesday we had rain and a temperature drop to 50.  Today we were at 40.  Obviously Mother Nature is not very happy with New Jersey.
Mike and I sampled our wine this week.  It was our second barrel sample.  Our first sample came in the middle of our toughest part of the winter.  I had two days off from school due to snow and the temperature was an average of 5 degrees Fahrenheit.  We were so excited to get our sample.  Unfortunately, FedEx shut down for the week.  We were suppose to get the delivery on a Monday and we were told “Due to weather, FedEx has ceased deliveries.”  We ended up getting the wine on Friday.
Upon opening, the wine was cloudy- UH OH! It had an off- rubber like aroma and extremely acidic. Double UH OH!  It was way out of balance. THREE STRIKES YOUR OUT?! We tasted the wine and looked at each other and were afraid to talk about it.  However, our faces told it all. We looked at each other and said WTF?  We were on the ledge and ready to jump. Ultimately we talked each other off the ledge by re-affirming each other that the sample had to be compromised due to the freeze.  It can’t be this bad.  The weather screwed us, and it wasn’t all bad.  That bottle went down the drain.
We called our custom crush facility and spoke to them.  We described our tasting notes to them and they disagreed.  We felt a little better that they didn’t have that same tasting  profile as we experienced.  Quietly, we exhaled a huge breath and thanked God.
Fast forward three months.  We felt we were out of the winter weather and it would be safe to ship another sample.  We received the sample right before my Spring Break.  We took the sample and placed it in the wine cellar while we went to Mexico. (that’s a whole other story)  After a week, in the cellar we opened the sample and let it rest.  Upon opening, what a surprise!  First, woo hoo, it wasn’t cloudy!  Second, the entire profile had changed. Damn you Mother Nature for scaring us that way!  I can confidently say that our wine is coming along fantastically.  We are so happy with its current profile.  With another year in barrel, this baby is going to rock!
As our “baby” rests in barrel, it is time to move onto other areas of the business.  Decisions, decisions, decisions.  Did you know that wine labels come in a variety of sizes and shapes.  They vary between 1/4″. That’s insane.  Is there really that big of a difference between a label that is 3.5 x 5.0 vs. 3.5 vs. 5.25.  Apparently, there is!  More decisions!  Once you decide on the minuscule differences of the label, you need to make sure it is compatible with the label roller.And don’t get me onto the cork issue! Natural, partial natural, synthetic.  Imprint or no imprint? Let’s not forget the bottles! Tapered, Claret, Rhone?  Wow, my mind is swimming!
As we approach Easter weekend, we have come to a standstill.  We will now need to contact the company that runs the labels to discuss what labels they typically run.  Once we know that, we can then go back to our marketing designer and finalize our label.  Once we know that, we can then finalize our brand logo.  It is like a domino effect.  We just hope we have the dominoes set up in a pattern that runs us through to an awesome end.

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