Looking Back... and Forward
This year, 2016, has been a year of challenges. Loss seems to be theme, and it is the reason I have not written a post in a couple of months. It is hard to put into words: my wife and I both lost the day jobs this year, putting potential financial strain on us. It creates an unease that seems to invade every aspect of our daily life. And yet, I am not sure that either of us has been this happy in quite some time. It is an enigma.
We the Frisbee family lost our beloved Sam the Vineyard Dog in October. And we grieve for him, for the loss to our family. Sam protected us, played games, chased away the birds in the vineyard, sat and people-watched around the tasting room, and loved to be part of the family. He loved to ride in the truck or on the Gator. He loved to play fetch with a ball or a stick or an empty water bottle. He was a bit of a thief, especially when it came to the toys I mentioned; you were well advised to keep your water bottle in hand, because if he found it unattended, it became Sam's property! Sam was a loving and faithful companion, and we will miss him.
Our state endured wildfires that consumed thousands of acres, a phenomena not seen in this area very frequently. September, October, and November were very dry. In a period that normally sees about 8" of rain, we only had 2.6" of rain. Through August, our area was running at about 87% of 'normal' rainfall. By the end of November, the percentage of 'normal' had dropped to 72%. To say the weather this year has been odd would be an extreme form of understatement. As I mentioned before, through the middle of June, 2016 was the third coolest year I have tracked. In 60 days, it went from the cool side to the hottest year, in terms of heat accumulation, that we have seen since we started the vineyard. Our previous warmest year was 2010 where we had 3868 GDD base 50. This year, we ended the year with 4035.5 GDD, a staggering 167.5 GDD, a little over four percent, more than the previous record, and nearly 350 GDD, eight-ish percent, more than our eight year average.
On the other end of the spectrum, we added. Added to our offerings, added to the farm, added to our experience.
We added a new offering mid-year with our new partnership with VinoShipper. Now, we can offer wine for sale, direct to you, from our website, and you can have it shipped straight to your home or office. An office may be better because all alcohol shipments require an adult 21 or over to sign for the package.
Production this year was very similar to 2015. Our total cases crushed will ultimately yield around 850, the same as 2015. We saw more visitors this year, and we sold a few more bottles of wine. For those of you that visited and took some memory of that visit home with you, we say thank you, and we look forward to seeing you again in 2017.
For our family, this is not just a business. The connections we make with you, your enjoyment of our wine, and the experiences we share at the vineyard are what make all the hard work, sleepless nights, uncertainty, and challenges worth it to us. It isn't just about producing great wine; it is family, friends, and community. It is about sharing our experiences, and creating memories.
Last but not least for this note, thank you for your support. Thank you for reading the blog, visiting the tasting room, asking for Addison Farms Vineyard wine at your favorite retail shops and restaurants. We look forward to an exciting 2017. Happy new year to you!