California here I am….

I made it!! Was hard being away from my family for a month.

House is on the market, had three offers the first day and have accepted an offer. All of the hard work seems to have paid off. Hopefully we close in early March. Thanks Dad and Paul for all of your help!!

My grandparents are getting settled in a nice home which has taken much patience and hard work from my aunts and mother. I am very grateful for this.

The drive over with the camper was long but we had no problems. Dad was great company during the trip.

Had the flu all week and after 5 days of fever am finally feeling better. Avoid the flu at all costs. This is the worst flu I have ever had.

Katie and my sister-in-law Becky did an amazing job of getting the house setup. Still lots of boxes to unpack but the house is functional. Boys have acclimated extremely well in school and have already made many new friends. Its always a good sign when they do not want to be picked up from school.

Miss everyone in H-town. Hope to see you soon.


Romance or Real Interest?

So a year or so later, we made another trip to Sonoma County with one of the couples Butch and Lisa Darnell who had been on the first wine-blur tour. Randomly we found ourselves in the tasting room at Christopher Creek Winery

At the end of the tasting, we asked for a recommendation for our next stop. They called Acorn Winery and luckily they had an opening. So off we went… Had a wonderful tasting and walk in the vineyard with Betsy Nachbaur proprietor of Acorn Winery. When visiting the Russian River area, make sure to visit Acorn and Allegria Vineyards. The tasting and walk in the vineyard are a unique experience you will not want to miss.

When we returned from our walk in the vineyard, Betsy started to explain the fermentation that was taking place in a couple of T-bins in the winery. It just so happened that the caps needed to be punched down. During the fermentation of red wine, the skins form a “cap” that floats on the liquid and needs to be kept moist and in contact with the juice. A punch down tool is used to break up the cap. Being a bit more vertically “gifted” and enthusiastic about learning more, I offered to do the punch downs. So I put on the apron, grabbed the punch down tool and got to work.

Now this is the turning point when my obsession took over… As I was doing the punch downs, I asked Betsy if she would take volunteers for harvest. I suspect she gets this a lot and graciously agreed. She asked that we contact her the following year before harvest to arrange the details. I have never asked Betsy if she really expected that I would contact her. Anyway, so off we went back to our “normal” life in Houston. I started to count the days until harvest the next year.

The seed of madness is set….

So where did all of this craziness begin… I believe I have pinpointed the moment my grape obsession started. I was on a trip with my wife and several other couples about seven years ago. We were doing the typical limo wine-blur tour when we stopped at winery in Napa.

We all stumbled out of the limo and into the tasting room, but I could not stand to be in the tasting room. Something kept drawing me outside. I kept going outside and staring at this absolutely stunning vineyard. This was the first time that I realized what I wanted to do with my life. This was an unbelievable moment that I cannot capture properly with words. Something similar to the appreciation you instantly have for your parents after your first child is born.

Of course, I had a few beverages and knew that this had to be extremely hard work.  I needed to learn more…

I finally did it…

What could possibly compel a seemingly sane person to walk away from a great job at a software company in Houston Texas, uproot his family and move 2000 miles west to Northern California to completely start over in the wine industry?? Could it really be a purple smile… Well it has been in the making for 5+ years and I thought you might like to take the journey with me. And for the folks that might think I am crazy (and you know who you are), perhaps I can explain how I got here. So let the journey begin…