Thursday, October 23, 2014

Introducing...




Fête [fet] 
(n):  Celebration, party, or festival
(v): To honor or lavishly entertain someone 

For as long as we can remember we’ve found reasons to celebrate even the most mundane accomplishments. This has been a cornerstone of our marriage. When Justin was in real estate we would celebrate every stage of the transaction. We joked that by the time we actually got paid for a deal we had “celebrated” all of the money away. (Good thing our celebrations are always fiscally responsible.)

We also celebrate when times are rough. This philosophy has become so central to our family’s culture that every time we experience disappointment, our go-to joke is “how are we going to celebrate this?” We figure that if we can celebrate when things are great AND when things are bad, we can find contentment and joy in all things. We don’t always get to choose our circumstances, but we do get to choose how we respond to them.

 Fête is a gift and wine shop that we hope encourages people to live lives full of celebration and joy. We hope that you will choose to support this vision by purchasing some of our products and helping your friends, families, clients, and colleagues choose joy in the everyday.


We are not guaranteed tomorrow, but we can fête today! 

Here's how you can help!

1. Check out our website and product selection. Consider doing some of your holiday shopping with us! Since we are just starting out, this first run will be done on a pre-order basis. This will allow us to find out what products you like and which ones we shouldn't invite back. Orders should be placed by November 15th. We will ship everything the week of December 1st.

2. Tell your friends! Help us spread the word about Fête, You can earn rewards points by referring a friend. Once your points add up, you can score major discounts on products.

3. Like us on Facebook and Instagram. /FeteToday

4. Stay connected. We plan to roll out several new features after the first of the year, including item personalization. 

We are excited to launch this new adventure. We hope you'll join the party!


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Stuff We Haven't Told You

posted by Beck

The Last Year

As you may have noticed, we've been a little MIA over the last year. Here's what you've missed:


 
We took out about 10 rows of grapes on the front of our property to make it easier to stage everything at harvest time.

We planted 15-20 fruit trees along the back of our property.


We took out 300-400 dead vines and planted new ones (they take about 3 years to produce).



We officially became growers for Mondavi's Constellation Brands.

We attended Woodbridge Winery's "Blessing of the Grapes." Mrs. Mondavi gave a brief address and a local priest gave the blessing while 100 or so growers and winery workers looked on. It was a surprisingly moving experience.

We built a barn.


JP made a really amazing garden that we pretty much forgot about all summer. We had some killer cabbage, tons of squash, tomatoes, and peppers and we didn't eat most of it because we are never home. Story of our life.



We had to put our cat down. It was really sad.

We had a major mice problem. (We killed 16 in the house over the course of the summer. This was almost as sad as losing the cat.)

We got two feral kittens who we "acclimated" to our family inside the house for about 6 weeks and then transitioned into outside cats. (They're still not totally happy about this.)



There was a drought in California. The main impact of the drought was that everything happened earlier. We pruned earlier and we picked earlier.

We found out that our grapes would be sent to Ravenswood in Napa. That means in about 18 months you can drink a glass of Ravenswood petite sirah and say, "I know where these grapes came from..." with some authority.



Due to a capacity issue at the winery, our grapes were picked about 10 days later than they should have been. This was super stressful because we watched our awesome crop get sweeter and sweeter (which also means lighter and lighter) and start turning into raisins.

We decided to try harvesting by machine. It was a significant cost savings and a very different experience because they started at dusk and worked until the early morning hours. There are pros and cons to this method of harvesting and we're not sure we're going to do it again next year.



And...drumroll please...the 2014 crop was... 17.4 tons. Kind of a disappointment. We were expecting twice that amount this year, but hey, that's farming! (Reference Point: Year 1 = 8 tons, Year 2 = 2 tons, Year 3 = 28 tons).

What does 17 tons mean financially? It means that we can cover our expenses, but not much else this year. (Aaannnnddd, that's why we have day jobs.)


We celebrate everything, even lackluster harvests, so we went to Chilis (because that's all we can afford...but it beats being on a Taco Bell budget, right?), went big and ordered dessert.

What's next...



The vines get a bit of a reprieve until January when we prune and the process starts all over again. Here's to a wet winter!

JP and I are launching a new online business! Something we are very excited about. We hope you'll like it and want to help us get started! We hope to tell you more about it by the end of this week when our site goes live. We can't wait to see where it leads us.


Stay tuned...