Happy Deer Hunting Opener to all of those sporting orange this weekend! Our hunting party arrived last night as they do every year on deer opener weekend. My brother and a group of his friends from back home spend quite a bit of time up here every year during deer season waiting for their trophy buck to make its appearance. They've gotten lucky once with a trophy, but have filled tags each year. Speaking of deer, check out these questionable critters we found on our trail cams at the winery site:
:) We have seen tracks, but now we have evidence! :)
The focus this week was to get the roof capped and building sealed up so we can get the heat on and floor poured. We are almost there! Shane and his guys put on all of the roof sheeting and started applying the green paper to make it weatherproof. The gable ends will be closed up early next week and then the rest of the prep work for the floor can happen. We can't start making wine until the inside of the production space is finished. The biggest task being the floor - we have to wait 28 days before we can start filling tanks in order for the floor to cure properly. There's still much to be done and it seems a little daunting, but we are hopeful by Christmas we should be able to have the fermenters going, as long as the space is ready and the state inspectors can make it out to give us their approval. Fingers crossed!
Mike Lundebrek was back out this last week finishing up the power hook up with REA. We now have a meter, which I guess means we'll start getting bills in the mail (LOL!). We have two working outlets in the basement and officially have power! Shane no longer has to run the generators to charge the batteries for his power tools and they can run the radio all day, so they are excited! It's the little things, right?
One thing about Mike Lundebrek is you hardly know he's here, but yet there is visible progress each day. He keeps his nose to the ground and gets his work done, and we are so thankful he's on our construction team!
We also got a heater unit installed this week which will help keep the production room warm for the workers, but most importantly, when the floor is poured. After construction is complete, this unit will help with any heat recovery when the big doors are opened. Mission Mechanical is who we are using for our HVAC and Tom Peterson has been great to work with! He coordinated with Joe and we were ready for his guys when they showed up. They had the unit installed in just a couple of hours and were on their way. I'm hoping the rest of the project goes this smoothly with them!
We also were able to get an LP tank installed from Fauskee Oil in Brooten to feed the heating unit. We have used Fauskee for our farm fuel needs for almost 10 years and have nothing but great things to say about Randy and his crew. This fall has been a doozy on farmers and it's been said that there is an LP shortage, causing limits on how much farmers can have delivered, as well as pricing increases. But because of the relationship we have made with them, Randy didn't even bat an eye when Joe called - he worked it out and made it happen. His team has been running 20 hour days with the crazy fall harvest, yet he still took care of us - and it didn't go unnoticed.
And this thing was dropped off this week.
What is it? This is what they call an oil waste interceptor. A thorn in my side is what I call it. During our state plumbing review we were told that we needed to put this tank in the ground to capture any oil or vehicle waste that may collect should our building ever turn into a car shop. Wait, what? What? A car shop? This will be a winery last time I checked. And if (big if) we ever sold the building and its purpose would change, wouldn't it be up to the next owner to ensure it met all of the necessary regulations at that time? These are all questions that were met with much debate, but because this is a commercial project, certain regulations apply. We bit the bullet, spent the money, and are now putting this tank in the ground to keep the project moving along so we can pass our inspections. Our worry is that waste (grape seeds, skins, etc) will collect in this tank and plug up, attract unwanted pests (fruit flies), and be more of a hindrance than a helper. But we are not the "experts" and are only try to use common sense - sometimes common sense gets vetoed by regulations. This tank here caused a 3 week delay for us that I'm still a little sour about. The fact that I have dedicated an entire paragraph to this thing makes me a little ill, but now you are in the know too. You're welcome!
And because I don't want to end my post this week with that, I'm going to leave you with this. Dennis Lundblad found this rock when he was working on our retaining wall. It's not every day you find a rock shaped like a heart - we'll leave it here so you can see it in person next summer. Maybe it will offer some luck to us as we continue with the project, and a photo opportunity for you on your next visit.
And just a quick reminder, our RFV apparel will only be available in the online store until next weekend. I'm being told sizes are selling out in certain styles, so if you plan on ordering any t-shirts or sweatshirts, there is only a few days left. We are so thankful to those of you who have already placed your orders! I'm hoping we are able to help a few more of you out. I know its a little early to think about Christmas, but these would be great Christmas gifts for anyone on your list! All of your purchases can be done right from our website, but if you have any questions, please reach out and I will do my best to answer any!
About the Author
I'm Melanie, co-owner of Rolling Forks Vineyards, boy mom & wine lover.