Topic: WINE - A mini essay  (Read 3166 times)

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Chris Whitten

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Re: WINE - A mini essay
« Reply #20 on: February 05, 2008, 11:10 PM »
I wrote off my entire chardonnay crop yesterday.
We picked as much as we could of the semillon on Saturday. It was a grey day but fine.
The chardonnay needed another week of ripening.
On Sunday the heaven's opened again and it's rained everyday since then.
The viticulturalist came over yesterday and we could see fungal diseases spreading throughout the crop. It was no longer worth the cost of picking them.
So far I've spent much more than an average year keeping the plants healthy. The end result is a much reduced semillon harvest, nearly half dropped on the ground (rejected) and a complete failure of the chardonnay crop.
 :-\ :'(
So that's the reality of farming.

Louis Russell

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Re: WINE - A mini essay
« Reply #21 on: February 06, 2008, 08:11 AM »
Dang Chris, I come from a long line of farmers and feel your pain.  My grandpa used to tell me that the farmer is the only business that buys at retail and sells at wholesale.  It is difficult to make a lot of money farming but it is an enjoyable lifestyle most years. 

diddle

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Re: WINE - A mini essay
« Reply #22 on: February 06, 2008, 08:59 AM »
Ouch, Chris...  ???  Are you gonna try next season or shut it down? 

Chris Whitten

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Re: WINE - A mini essay
« Reply #23 on: February 06, 2008, 06:23 PM »
The winery owner who buys the grapes was as disappointed as I.
He quoted me the old line about millionaire grape growers.
How do you become a millionaire in the wine industry? Start out as a multi-millionaire.
That joke can apply to several areas in life.

We have a very sensible financial option available to us.
That is to lease the vines to the winery owner - whose vineyard is but a few miles away.
In doing that we lose control of the plants and have little control over who comes onto our property and when. A large area of vines backs onto our house. So it's not as if it's a field, separate to our living area.
 :-\

Our gut feeling is to continue on. However that would require the ongoing expenditure of several thousand dollars between now and next year at this time (the next harvest).
In effect, we are talking two year's running costs to gain one year's income.
I think we will give it another go (I'm not a quitter), but this is the true 'money pit' situation and you have to stop thinking with your heart and think with your head before you find yourself in serious debt.

Thanks guys for your sympathetic words.



 

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