Monday, November 27, 2006

Humble Beginnings

The building where the first Sainte Genevieve Winery wine was made is getting torn down this week. It originated as a garage for the house, and was on the property when mom and dad bought it in 1967. I never remember too many cars actually parked in it though. The story I have heard is that my two brothers wanted to start a machine shop in the garage to fix cars and whatnot, so they bought some tools and poured a concrete floor. In December 1983 we received our official bonded winery license and the garage soon turned into the winery. My brother, Joe, played basketball in high school, so a basketball hoop was hung. Like any American pursuing the dream, my dad used what he had available to him, and that was the garage. We built barrel racks, cut a hole in the back room for an air conditioner, and I bottled more wine out there than I care to admit.

I read an article about a year or two ago in the Food and Wine Magazine about a little winery in the Amador foothills who ran their winery out of a garage, and the journalist made it seem so rustic and authentic, and I'm sure it was/is, but Dad and I couldn't help but chuckle. What some people found quaint, we found bothersome. It's all about perscpective, isn't it?

Now, we are in this new fangled building, and although it isn't beautiful, it is 1,000 more functional than that old building, and for that I am grateful everyday. I have an office/lab, and all my tanks indoors, and drains in the floors. It's a little winemaker's dream come true. I, for one, know I WILL NOT miss the old building, but I can't say the same for Dad.

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