Joe did such a good job explaining where our name came from in his Facebook post, I wanted to save it here on our blog as well!
Ever look across the lake from the Minnewaska High School and wonder what's going up on top of the hill? Yup, that's the winery! 2.7 miles door to door as the crow flies. Looking to the south, you can see the rolling hills that meander down to beautiful Lake Minnewaska. The unique topography is why we chose the words "Rolling" and "Forks" in our name. The picture shows the four "Forks" that provide natural drainage for the site. It doesn't look like it, but the winery is approximately 174 feet above lake level which gives an excellent opportunity for the cold air to drain away during those still nights where frost forms! That, and we have little worry for flooding on the site:)
Things keep happening at the winery while we navigate sick kids at home. We've had the stomach flu and now ear infections, but hopefully we are on the mend finally!
A lot has happened since my last update at the winery! I was hoping to write this on Friday, but we had a crazy weekend of family things going on, it just didn't happen.
Shane and his crew finished up installing the ceiling and sheet rock on the 3rd level and stairwell, Mission Mechanical continued with the plumbing and HVAC, and Mike Lundebrek was out all week wiring and installing boxes.
The newest contractor to the project was added last week to install the floor coating in the production space. John Boeckner and his crew from Creative Coatings out of Cyrus, MN were out most of last week working on the floor. One thing that was important to Joe was that he didn't want the floor to fill with wine stains. We know its probably inevitable, but we wanted to mitigate it as much as possible. So we worked with John to pick out a system that should help keep the stains at bay. John did up some samples for us that we tested this past fall when we were going through harvest. We let the juice sit on the sample for several days and there was no staining!
For the flooring geeks out there, the system we selected is a combination floor. There's base coat of cement urethane, then a couple layers of ground quartz that were broadcast, then finally a couple of coats of clear polyaspartic to seal it in. The quartz will also provide some traction to help keep the floor from being too slippery when it gets wet.
Today they are finishing up and cutting the lines and filling in with an epoxy filler - which means move in day is coming very soon and my snow ornaments in the yard can finally go to their home!
It was a really large floor area for them to work with, making sure the coloring and layers were consistent, but we are very pleased with how it turned out!
Watch for a post on Facebook later this week of the time-laps video of their work. The sample that Joe showed me is pretty neat to see!
Joe also decided to take on a project of his own! He, his brother Jake, and right hand man Darrien worked on tiling the utility room and a closet before the mechanicals get moved in. He got a STEAL of a deal on some tile and it was hard to pass up. They need to install the grout and then it will be done!
It looks like this week we will get the roof steel put on and we will start moving in the catwalk and tanks! I'm so excited for the next update!
This was a busy and productive week at the winery site! Shane's crew started the week off getting the ceiling installed. We had to make some changes during the install, but we are glad we were able to make the decision on the fly, and are so happy with the final result!
Once the ceiling was installed, McPherson Products could come in and get the spray foam insulation installed. They sprayed the attic in the tasting room, about 80% of the production space, and all around the perimeter of the basement. They will need to come back and finish the production space next week, as well as the attic space above the 3rd level. This has really helped keep things warm on the interior and we are SO THANKFUL to have this step almost complete.
All while this was going on, Mike Lundebrek kept chipping away at the electrical work. I don't know much about electrical wiring, but the highway of conduit is impressive! Next week he'll be able to start installing the light fixtures in the production space. We are getting closer and closer to making this space operational.
Joe also decided to take on a little project of his own. Because the ceiling of the production space is black, we wanted the duct work to match. Joe contacted Kim Haan at Sherwin Williams in Alexandria. She helped make the correct paint choices for the application and he was on his way. Tonight we finished up the last coat and I'm certain it will look really sharp once they are installed. We even brought our helpers along to make sure dad was doing a good job ;)
And just like Mike Lundebrek was able to make progress with the electrical, Mission Mechanical had their crew out much of the week getting the boiler installed so we could turn the in-floor heat on. We decided to only place the lines around the perimeter of the concrete slabs to keep the foundation walls from sweating during the winter months.
The biggest and best part of the week was getting the garage doors installed. Aren't they beautiful? Viking Garage Door out of Alexandria helped us put them in place. We have worked with Janet and her team in the past on other projects around our farm - she and her crew are wonderful to work with and highly recommended!
With the ceiling insulated now and the garage doors installed, it's holding the heat in much better now (for obvious reasons) so we are hoping Fauskee's will get a bit of a break before filling up our LP tank again. We are probably more excited about that then they are ;)
This coming week will be full of more exciting changes!
Enter this new year with a gratitude for this new chance to create your dreams - Avina Celeste
We made it to 2020 and we officially have a (construction) door to the production area! And it dawned on me just now, our oldest son will be graduating High School in 2030 which is only TEN YEARS away! That's crazy to think about. What kind of successes and struggles will we have experienced between now and when he graduates? Whew! Deep thoughts on this Friday afternoon.
I took a break from blogging about the project over the holidays. We soaked in a lot of family fun during the last couple of weeks, but I'm ready for the boys to get back to school so we can get back into our normal routine! A lot has happened in the winery as well! We are closer and closer to getting equipment moved in and juice fermenting.
The floor in the production space has now been poured and our ticking clock has started ticking! Shane brought in some extra hands again to help the second pour go smoothly. Things will start clipping along fairly quickly over the next couple of weeks and I may go back to my weekly updates because things will be changing rather fast.
We brought the boys out to the site over break to run off some energy. They threw a football around and ran a few laps. Oliver wanted to help with something, so we gave him a shovel and he moved some dirt. We made sure he kept it on the outside :)
Once the floor was finally finished, Shane's crew could focus on getting some of the interior framing done. I know it probably doesn't look like anything to you, but soon, it will be bathrooms, both downstairs and upstairs, and the upper level office area and mezzanine.
Once the framing was done, they could start hanging sheet rock. Woooo Whooo! These are pictures of the inside of the tasting room, including a firewall that was installed between the tasting room and production space.
Once the framing was in, Mike Lundebreck could start wiring things in as well. I know it's hard to get excited about wires, but its a sign of how close we are to getting to move in!
And because the floor has cured enough, Shane's crew could start installing the wrap on the ceiling of the production area because...next week our ceiling gets installed! The plastic is black because the ceiling will be black. I realized today it helps "ground" the room a little, so the walls don't seem so tall.
More materials have been arriving in preparation of the coming weeks. Today was the ductwork from Mission Mechanical.
And for those that come here for more than just construction updates, here are a few pictures from our holiday events.
So for the inquiring minds who need to know (including me), next week will we will have a ceiling, then the garage doors can go in, the duct work can be hung, and the insulation can be installed. While all of this is going on, the plumbing and electrical will continue to go in. Toward the end of the month the floor coating in the production space will be applied and a week after that has cured the equipment can start to be moved in!!! THEN, we can call the state inspectors to come in and give us their blessing. Once we have that, the wine making will commence.
Who is excited?!?! (I wish I could add emojis while I type this - I'm an emoji kind of person.)
About the Author
I'm Melanie, co-owner of Rolling Forks Vineyards, boy mom & wine lover.