Oh how the world has changed since I last posted on here. Whew!
Where do I even begin? And what do I even say?
Now that we will have a business that would have had to close (or at least make some major adjustments) because of COVID-19, so many feelings and emotions are making a mess of my insides. Although it would have been "nice" to be open already, I'm secretly thankful we didn't have to go through the mess of having displaced employees, reduced sales, sad customers, and the stress of not knowing when the doors could open once again.
We have so many great businesses in the area that have been affected by the government mandates, or have chosen to close voluntarily to protect their employees and families. I want to see them OPEN on the other side of this so they can celebrate with us for our Grand Opening! Please find ways to support them during this time, so they don't have to weather this difficult journey alone. Call for take-out, buy gift certificates, or check out their online stores and have things shipped to your door. I can guarantee you, every one of them will be eternally grateful for your patronage!
And I don't want to have the attitude that the "sky is falling," but it's hard to ignore the reality that we are currently living in, and the future reality that could look similar to that of our friends in Italy.
SO! What has happened lately? So much! We have water and it feels so good! A couple of guys from Mission Mechanical stayed late Friday night to make sure everything was working for us for the weekend. We have been without water for so long at the site, we spent most of Friday night letting the boys wash down the tanks and PLAY! They were soaked by the end of the night, but it was one of the best nights so far! So fun!
We also got some of the cabinetry installed. Pat Rooney has done such a great job! Once its all set in place I will share more pictures. He used white oak and stained it this beautiful brown. It pulls everything together so nicely!
And a LOT of progress has been made with the floor installations. Jon and Paul have done a great job!
All of the millwork has arrived as well and is waiting to get installed! It's beautiful! Thank you to Bayer Built Inc. for doing such a great job!
And the biggest news of all...Drum-roll please.....
We can finally start thawing juice and MAKE WINE!
The announcement was rather lackluster, and came in the form of an e-mail. :) But we'll take what we can get!
This week has been somewhat of a whirlwind. With COVID-19 having us on alert, I had a moment where I was a little worried that the State was going to shut down, therefore further delaying our opening because there would be no inspectors available.
HOWEVER, that was not the case!
We had our first inspection by the Department of Ag on Monday morning. The purpose of that inspection was to ensure we have a facility safe enough to manufacture a "food product." Mike was our inspector and he walked through our facility, saw that we had the required surfaces and equipment and he gave us his blessing!
Next up was the Department of Public Safety. DPS issues us the actual license to manufacture alcohol. Immediately following our inspection with Mike, I called our inspector Allison, from DPS. I may have called her several times, using multiple phone numbers that I found for her, frantically trying to reach her, in hopes to schedule her visit before the hypothetical shutdown I had made up in my head. She answered (finally) and scheduled her inspection for the next day (Tuesday) at 10:30. We had to (well Joe had to) prove to her that we were knowledgeable and competent enough to produce alcohol. She said her B.S. meter is pretty good, so Joe got down to business and let her in on our process. And within a few hours we received this e-mail:
We called the trucks right away this morning and our frozen juice should start arriving tomorrow!
If you are having a hard time reaching us over the next couple of weeks, we will be busy making wine! CHEERS!
About the Author
I'm Melanie, co-owner of Rolling Forks Vineyards, boy mom & wine lover.