February 8 Our Traminette, Chambourcin and Norton vine cuttings
have been finished up and are in cold storage. These babies will
become part of our vineyard stock and planted in the spring of 2009.
February 1-4 Some pictures from
the Midwest Grape and Wine
Conference at Tan-Tar-A this year.
We had a great time hanging out
with our friends (old and new). We
also enjoyed all the wines we had
a chance to try at the Missouri
Grape Growers reception & silent
January - February
The pruning season has
started and we have been
hard at work. Our friend
Adam has been helping out
whenever he has a chance.
This is Merv's favorite time
of the year to work in the
vineyard. The buds that
will become this year's fruit
have been set and are
looking strong. We want to
thank Jennifer and Joe at
Marco Vineyard one more
time for the vote of
confidence. Thank you!
|The start of a new year in the vineyard.
|© COUNTS HOLLOW VINEYARD LLC 2008. All Rights Reserved.
What a difference a day makes.
March 2, sunny and in the 70's.
March 3rd, 10" of snow and in
the low 20's.
Weezer keeps a watchful eye on the progress.
March 25 We talked a few of our
rock-n-roll buddies into coming out on
a wonderful day to give us a hand with
our rock problem. Rock-n-roll!!!
March has been a busy month, although we have
few pictures to show. With a lot of help from Adam,
we have finished the main trusses and are awaiting
a rain/wind free day to hang them on their final
resting spot. Most of the lumber for the rest of the
roof is cut and waiting to tie it all together. With
help from our friends Adam, Anne, JJ and Mark,
we finished the prep for our new vineyard and
sowed it in organic cover crop. Also with their help
Arrowhead is almost rock free- NOT! We are
prepped and ready to begin our spring planting
schedule as soon as the weather breaks. We are
hoping to begin building the straw bale wall within
the next few weeks. Wish us luck. If you are
interested in helping give us a buzz or e-mail us
and we can set up a schedule. Thanks, Merv
April 5 Some pics of the
trusses being set into place
this weekend. We have been
waiting for this day for awhile.
It finally happened thanks to
our hard-working friends.
Our amazing crew for the setting of
the trusses, Mark, Adam and Anne.
Thanks so much one more time.
April 15 We have planted half of our second vineyard (Pierre). The
vineyard is ready for our late arrivals to be planted within the next
month or so, if the weather holds. Chambourcin, Norton, Traminette
and a few vinifera varietals will call Counts Hollow home. Viognier,
Merlot, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Denise's favorite,
Zinfandel,will be planted on Pierre's steepest slope, where they all
will make a bid to stay. With our steep slopes and attention to
detail, we hope to produce some of Missouri's most attractive and
sought after vinifera and French hybrid grapes, which will become
our most prized wines. We will be tasting our 2007 wines and
finalizing bottling plans on Thursday, April 17. With a little luck and
label approval, we should have this year's wine ready within the
next few months. Please keep sending the words of encouragement
and peace to you.
May 2 A picture of Adam helping out on
the roof. He wanted me to document the
fact that he is, in fact, high enough to
break his head. Also, we have a picture
of our first arrivals to the Counts Hollow
farm. Three day old Cayuga ducklings,
and boy are they not the sweetest.
Cayuga ducks are very hardy, iridescent
black and green, and native to America.
This breed is on the endangered species
watch list, so we are trying to do our
part to keep this incredible bird around.
May 29 Our second
vineyard has been
completed and is
Also some pics of
our ducks Quacky,
Ray-Ray and the
bunch. Their new
duck house is
equipped with the
latest in creature
Meanwhile we get
back to finishing up
the winery building.
June 1 One of the wonders of being a
grape grower. On the left is a Norton
beginning to bloom with the caps laying on
the leaf below. An the right is a picture of a
Chambourcin in full bloom with some
berries forming. It is a shame that we don't
have Smell-A-Vision along with this website
page ( good for grape flowers, bad for young
ducks ). Chambourcin - fresh ground black
pepper, the Norton - sweet honeysuckle.
June 17 With our friend Mark Stephens' help, we were
finally able to finish the roof framing. And as you can see, we
are now officially "under roof" thanks to the crew from Vinyl
Plus Construction. Fitting in with our "buy local" philosophy,
Vinyl Plus is a Salem-based business. This is a huge
milestone and a very long time coming. No time to rest
though. Our next step is to fill in the walls with straw bales.
Anyone interested in a hands on straw bale building seminar,
just give us a call. Think of it as a life size Lego project!
|July 3 The straw bale walls
are finished and ready for
plaster. The crew for the
bales were in up to their
eyeballs in straw, but I never
heard one complaint. Many
thanks go out to our friend
Mark Stephens for all the
help. Keep sending the
words of encouragement for
without them we would
certainly falter. Thank you
again - Denise and Merv.
|August 1 Over the past
month, we have been working
hard to enclose the winery
portion of the building. As you
can see the Prius also worked
hard carrying 60 2x4's in one
load. With the hot weather,
humidity and our construction
workout, we're almost down to
our fighting weights.
For those of you who have heard of Japanese
beetles but haven't had the pleasure of meeting
them, here they are in all their glory. They'd be
beautiful if they weren't so darned destructive.
|August 8 Pictures of the finished
walls on the east and south of the
winery. With a little luck and a few
more days of work, we will be ready
for the windows and doors. We have
ordered our doors and are waiting
for delivery. The garage doors are
coming from a small Illinois town
called Arthur. Some of you might
recognize this town as the place
where Merv grew up. Merv's dad also
works for the best garage door
makers in the world. CHIOHD.COM
|August 16 We have finished all sides of the
winery and are preparing for plaster. This year
has been one of the most exciting times of our
lives. To watch this building come together has
been a dream come true for us. We could not
have done it without the help of our friends
and family. Thanks also to our new friends
that we have met along the way. The picture
on the right is of a belladonna amaryllis
blooming in with the vines - beautiful is nature!
|September 6 & 7 Our friends Ethan and Mark
came down for the weekend and gave us a hand
putting on the first coat of plaster. The final coat
will be finished by next week if the weather
holds out for us. The straw bale bottom section
will be taken care of next. We are waiting for the
rest of the materials to show up. Then we are
going to have a full blown plaster party. If you
are interested in helping out and meeting new
friends just give us a call or e-mail us.
September 19-21 Our crew finished the stucco on the upper part
of the winery. We have found two wonderful leaded glass windows
to use for the kitchen and bath. Also a picture of some of the
mushrooms that have appeared this year at Counts Hollow. We had
the good folks at Dent County Overhead Door come out and install
our beautiful CHI garage doors . Thank you again for the help Steve.
October 17-18 Thanks to all our
friends who came out to the first
annual Counts Holloween party. As
you can see everyone pitched in to
help. Especially Jasper (left) who
inspired us with his sand crab
sculpture and Larry (right) who
dowsed us straight to the cooler.
NOVEMBER 6 The exterior walls have their scratch and
brown coats applied and are waiting for the finish coat.
Unfortunately this will have to wait for next spring.
Meanwhile the interior walls will get their just dues.
Also a picture of the fall colors around the vineyard.
|NOV/ DECEMBER 18
We have finished the
scratch coat on the
inside walls. Weezer
and Sophie girl are
showing off the new
floor and we're tired.
But there's no rest for