JANUARY - FEBRUARY
Our daughter Elena is part of a FIRST robotics
team at her high school, Gateway Institute of
Technology. For the past two years we have
been mentoring and helping to feed the team.
To the right is a shot of this year's robot. The
team, Team 931, formed eight years ago when
they pioneered FIRST robotics in St. Louis. We
have had a great time mentoring the kids. So
much so, that we would love to help start a team
in Salem, MO. With Missouri S&T just 30 miles
away in Rolla, it would be a great way to
showcase what our young farmers and
engineers can do. We recommend everyone
check out the FIRST organization.
FEBRUARY 7 - 9
This year's Midwest Grape & Wine Conference at Tan-Tar-A was one of the
most exciting times of my life as a grape grower. I went to a class taught by
David Bos, vineyard manager for Grgich Hills Estate in Napa. It was the first
class on biodynamics in Missouri that I know of. After a lot of discussion
and wine, David talked me into telling the world that Counts Hollow
Vineyard and Farm is 100% biodynamic and has been since its inception.
Arrowhead received its first BC prep on September 23 & 24, 2006. On
April 3 & 4, 2007, we sprayed BC prep on Pierre Vineyard for the first time.
We get our biodynamic preps from Josephine Porter Institute and Stinging
Nettle for our "tea" from Blessed Herbs. Our compost is seeded with the BD
Compost Preps #502 - 507 and ferments for an extra 9 to 12 months.
Besides lime nothing else has or will touch our precious soils. Feel free to
call us or e-mail us if you have any questions about biodynamics. We can't
stop talking about how wonderful it is to be alive and farm, the BD way.
Well, we did it.
We finally tied
the knot. After
waiting a few
years for the
winery to be
ready for our
decided to go
away for a small,
wedding in Eureka Springs, AR. Like Counts Hollow, Eureka
Springs is a charming place nestled in the Ozark Mountains.
We had a great time exploring the town with Merv's mom and
dad and Elena. Special thanks goes out to our hostess at the
Red Bud Manor Inn, Deborah Stroup. That woman knows
how to do breakfast!
A few pictures of the last
10" of snow and ice at
The vineyard looks so
beautiful covered in
snow. We can't wait to get
out and watch the vines
start doing their thing.
We must wait for now.
What the vineyard guards do when it's
too cold to work....
FEBRUARY 26-28 Our FIRST Robotics team, Team 931, attended their
first 2009 regional competition in Kansas City, MO. The robot proved very
effective at playing this year's game, although the qualifying match results
did not always show it. Luckily our hard work paid off and we were
selected by the first place team as an alliance member. Our alliance with
Team 1806 (Smithville, MO) and Team 1208 (O'Fallon, IL) survived four
hard- fought rounds to come away with the GOLD! Thanks to our alliance
members for their faith in our team and their gracious professionalism.
We're looking forward the St. Louis Regional Competition at the Chaifetz
Arena, March 19 - 21. If you're in the area come check it out. It's free
and family-friendly. Be careful, you might just get bit by the Robotics Bug.
|© COUNTS HOLLOW VINEYARD LLC 2009. All Rights Reserved.
Some shots of the budding vines in
our backyard and our small garden in
town. We have been busy getting the
vineyard ready for the growing season.
With about a two week difference
between the vineyards in Salem and
St. Louis we think we are ready for go.
Work on the winery continues as the
inside walls are being finished up. The
rest of the outside will be taken care of
in the next few weeks. Elena's robotics
team 931 went to Atlanta and got
farther in the world championships
than ever before, finishing 7th in their
division finals after being in 3rd for
some time. Ahh robots and vines.
MAY 22-23 The Norton vines in
Pierre before & after the grow
tubes. I had spent the week
before pinching off excess
shoots and cutting up trees that
had fallen over our road in the
big storm. We can count
ourselves lucky that we only
lost about 30 trees and no
damage to our winery and
cabin. With 100+ mph
straight-line winds we had some
damage in the vineyard with
sheared off bamboo stakes and
newly planted vines at angles of
45 degrees and more.
June 1 A picture of both the Norton
and Chambourcin vines at berry set.
Last year at this time they were both
going through the beginning stages
of flowering. Also our wines are now
at Sappington Market in south St.
Louis and at Roc's in Salem, MO at
the corner of 19 and 32. Come out
and enjoy Counts Hollow wines and
when quality counts - Counts Hollow.