Spring/Summer 2012 Vineyard News

I have taken some of my so-called time off to work on a couple of projects.  Some of you have noticed the new signs; we have new “Z” signs at the east and west corners of the vineyard along 46 West and one more at the gate.  Mentioning the gate… our poor old gate met its end one morning during the 2011 harvest chaos.  A friend was following me, taking a tour of the vineyard, when one side of the front gate decided to jump out in front of his truck.  We are still trying to determine the motive; however, we suspect tragic unrequited love may be at play. The gate on the other side has yet to talk. I also wonder if the same gremlins that break my pipes and are sometimes known to lock unsuspecting Loft guests in, or sometimes out, are now discovering hilarious and more dangerous activities.  Nonetheless we have since replaced the gate and hope that all of our guests get acquainted with it from afar. 
Another mini-green project I have been working on involves our case box.  Our cardboard case box has been a standard white paper covered cardboard box with a label plastered lovingly on one side, sometimes straight.  It always bothered me that the stock box was white; a process that entails taking a product that is naturally brown and bleaching it.  We had no choice in the matter, that is just how everyone does it, and apparently nobody ever questioned it until I came along.   
I assume that a white box must have been more aesthetically pleasing to someone who makes those kinds of decisions; however, I wanted a non-bleached, non- white bread, not over-processed (ok I understand it’s cardboard…baby steps) box. I wanted a plain brown wrapper. I wanted the school issue pencils sans erasures and a big ole sheet of 80-grit brown writing paper with blue lines and sometimes bits of wood that made your pencil skip like a broken record. After all, cardboard is brown after it goes through its cardboard making process, right?  The bleaching part was unnecessary for me, and again I assumed that I would be able to get this less processed, processed material for the same or less cost.  Nope. 
Well kind of.  I could get the plain brown wrapper but my glass would still be shipped from the factory in a white box and they would send me the brown box separate.  I could throw away the white box and use the brown box.  Oh man… again, apparently I was the only person who had ever asked for a plain brown box, and the glass/box making company did not have the answer I was looking for.  I kept digging.  What I discovered was that I could get a plain brown box with the glass actually packed inside shipped as one.  However, since nobody in the whole world wanted a plain brown box except for me, it was going to have to be a ….special order.  I didn’t like the sound of that, usually means signing papers with fine print, agreements, no return policies, and yep….minimum orders.  I calculated my time spent thus far, took into account the millions of gallons of wood pulp that I could save from the bleach bath and it became a quest.  I was going for it, and scheduled the dreaded lunch with a sales representative.  Nothing personal Dan, you rock!  Dan the sales representative, let’s just call him Dan the Man, explained to me the finer details of glass packing.  What it boiled down to was that if I was going to special order a plain brown box (insert eye roll here), sounds silly I know, we might as well slap a design on it for a nominal one- time fee.  I did like the sound of that and immediately saw opportunity for coolness, as well as a non- bleached container for my babies.  Hence, the “log box” that signifies the noble beginnings of our fine non-bleached cardboard box...I win!

For a sneak peak, check out the 2010’s we bottled in April on our Zenaida Facebook page.

Cheers!  -eo