Saturday, November 2, 2013

Churchill does BRANDY

First full day of being semi re-started, Bob and I take advantage of me having a Saturday free and we decide to head out of town seven miles or so to the farm land where Churchill Vineyard resides. Today is the first day they are sampling their new brandy to the public. Available only since yesterday, November 1st, we already have an order in with our distributor so we can carry it at Red Zinnia.

FIVE long years in the making, it is now ready to pour.
Ashley takes us on a tour of the original fields of grapes that were planted more as an experiment than a commercial venture. I have fond memories of the days back in 2001 when Charlie would come out to The Flower Tree and we would spend an hour or so talking about the huge undertaking that he was creating. He was so passionate about the future of the crops and how much less water it would take than alfalfa, the main crop here then..and now. Churchill County Grape Growers, a non-profit, was formed and we sold their excess plants for them at the nursery the first couple of years. 
In the midst of our tour of the vineyard we hear that a flatbed truck is in the process of unloading the massive new parts needed to start their next endeavor, SPIRITS. Whiskey, Gin and Vodka are in the plans and we made our way around all the packing material and watched as Colby, the epitome of "A Kid in a Candy Store" tore through the plastic to unravel the beautiful shiny copper parts underneath. From my understanding, this machinery is from the same company that supplies to Jack Daniels, and the truck driver told us a story of delivering to them several years ago.  It was an amazing time to be there for the arrival of this new part of Churchill Vineyards expansion, and all of us at Red Zinnia look forward to pouring their latest.   

From that excitement it was on to the tour of the foundation for the new building that will not only house the newest productions of spirits, but also the visitor center. Rising high into the sky the front window will showcase the bright shiny copper "bubbles" of liquid.  And we love how Ashley has plans for a shady awning and "lazy day" rockers on the expansive front porch. It is obvious that her background is in marketing. She is not only skilled in presenting the winery at its finest, but she also knows how to make it so comfortable, we don't want to leave.

We listened as Colby described the cycle ......they plant the corn, harvest it, grind it, distill it, extract the alcohol, THEN IT GOES TO THE DAIRY right next door to feed the cows, (apparently the feed is so special - ethanol extracted - that the dairy has had to have shipped in from Iowa) then it comes back as manure to FEED THE FIELDS FOR SPRING. The excitement as Colby describes this full circle can only happen here, on a farm, and not in the city. Makes this nursery girl very happy! 



  one of Colby's next projects....VODKA, this one will be infused with cantaloupe from Workman Farms here in Fallon and onions ????? from Yerington. 
time to sample the brandy....warm and wonderful, look for it on our shelves next week!

 Colby and Ashley.....join us on December 11th at Red Zinnia when they will be pouring their wines, and brandy, during our "Evening of Wine".


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