Sunday, September 28, 2008

80/20 Rule

I've been thinking for some time of writing a series of Blogs on how our business plan evolved from planting 50 vines around the hot tub to making 1200 cases in just 8 years. I haven't really figured out how to put it together, since it's a long twisty series of events that have lead us here. I do know though that we're in the middle of an important transition this year.

In 2005 100% of the grapes we used were purchased grapes. We did use some grapes we had grown on our own, but that wine was made at home and not commercially.

In 2006 95% of the grapes we used were purchased and 5% were grown by us. In 2007 that changed again to 65% purchased and 35% grown by us.

This year we will 'flip' that number. 30% of our grapes will be purchased, 70% will be grown by us. Eventually I believe we will be at 80-90% grown by us, and 10-20% purchased.

New vineyards have been leased, new projects added, and older plantings are either being restored or coming on line. All these factor give us access to more grapes that we have controlled through out the growing season. That's really important, because I think we grow great fruit.

This year sees an important part of that transition continue. From 2005-2007 we used Cabernet Sauvignon from the Uvas Creek Vineyard, which we bought each year. This year a vineyard we've farmed, the Crimson Clover Vineyard, has come on line at 4 years old and is ready to be harvested this morning. Crimson Clover is near Uvas Creek, in the same AVA, and same band of soil, altitude and training. It is however, farmed by us and will replace Uvas Creek this year.

We're off in just 10 minutes to start picking grapes from Crimson Clover.

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