Saturday morning, Nena and I battled the dreary weather on our way to Raphael to visit "my vines" for the first time, before sticking around for a barrel tasting of 2005 reds (more on that later this week).

Winemaker and managing director, Richard Olsen-Harbich met us in the winery and took us over to the row of cabernet franc vines that will be used to make the first LENNDEVOURS-labeled wine. We also learned that Rich went to college at SUNY Cobleskill, just outside of Nena’s hometown. Small world when you consider the size of said hometown.

Raphael_cabfranc3_1The row is right next to the parking lot (so I still have easy access to it when Rich isn’t around) and is 50 or so ten year old vines. As Rich said that morning I’ve gone from not having kids to having 50 children.

Right now, there isn’t a whole lot for me to do (the vineyard staff is taking care of much of the day-to-day work obviously) but, I’ll be stopping by every week or two to take pictures and do a little weeding when necessary. I need to pick out a couple individual vines to take pictures of on every visit to chronicle their progress here on LENNDEVOURS.

Raphael_cabfranc2_2 The coolest thing (at least to me and so far) is that once the fruit sets, I’ll be doing my own cluster thinning. Right now we think we’re going to thin signifcantly, but time will tell.

Check back often as we watch "my vines" grow and bear fruit — all on the way to making some tasty (I hope) vino.