Spring has sprung! Our daffodils are up and lilacs buds are swelling - it's finally here!
We celebrated the first day of spring 2015 with Mom and Dad, who came for the weekend and helped give a boost to our progress!
After a ‘power-breakfast’ at the local bakery, we got right to work (11 a.m. is still ‘first thing’ in the morning, right?) We began by cleaning out what miscellaneous things were still left in the barn and rearranging our tool staging area so we could remove the timbers that made up the floor on the east side and prepare for gravel and concrete. We took many trips of ‘save-ables’ to the corncrib for storage, and many more trips to the burn pile.
These large timbers from the floor were wet (and some still a bit frosty – due to the winter melt from what was an extremely leaky roof) and because of this were extremely heavy (Thanks dad for being there when we needed you!) He even went on to remove the last bit of hay loft floor before cleaning up and calling it a day!
Mom and I cleaned up the last bit of scraps from the roofing contractors. I ran a magnet over the area and found more rusty nails than I ever thought possible – but it was good to pick them up in hopes they won’t make it into one of our tires as we continue work on the exterior!
The roofers worked all weekend and are done with all but a few small pieces of trim – check out this beauty! Holder Construction did a phenomenal job on the roof and we couldn’t be happier with how it turned out – Thanks guys!!!
Preston worked in the backhoe this afternoon to dig in our underground wire to get electricity to the barn while I finished cleaning up around the barn and taking care of some spring maintenance in the yard. The driveway extension is almost completely prepped and ready for gravel as well. We had a great weekend and can’t wait to continue making our plan reality!
Next on our list: Order windows, pour post foundations and get gravel in the barn and packed for concrete floor, get our Label approvals (yes, we’re still waiting!), find a source for wood for the hay loft floor, and promote our Kickstarter!
There are only 9 days remaining in our Kickstarter Campaign and we’re currently just over 20% funded – if you haven’t gone to check out our awesome reward packages, please follow the link (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/376508458/backcountry-winery?ref=email) and consider supporting our efforts – we truly appreciate and can’t wait to share the space with you upon completion!
Wish us luck this week and stay tuned!
We’ve been blessed again this weekend with beautiful weather and signs that spring might FINALLY be on its way! We’ve been moving pretty slow outside the last few weeks due to the cold, and were anxious to get back into the barn and keep moving. The roofers have been busy this week and we’ve been told we might actually see the steel go on very soon. Here is what it looked like as of yesterday – we’ll take more pictures as they continue work this week and keep you posted!
Last Saturday we drove to Cedar Rapids to attend the Iowa Wine Grower’s Association’s Annual Conference. The Iowa Wine Growers Association supports the Iowa Wine Industry through education, promotion, and legislative support. Their annual conference provides members the opportunity to attend great presentations given by experts from around the world. As new comers to the industry and to the association, we weren’t sure what to expect, but it turned out to be a great day full of educational opportunities and excited discussion about how we can apply our new knowledge to our own winery plans. Meeting new people in the industry and listening to all the great advice they were so willing to share with us was also amazing – it truly feels like big family and we had a blast getting to know everyone. We’re already looking forward to next year.
After attending the confe rence and doing a bit more research when we got home, we’re getting ready to order our grape vines for planting this spring. We’ll plant 150 plants in approximately ½ acre near the barn so we can have easy access to water and equipment and be able to keep a close eye on them as they mature. We’ve selected a wide range of cultivars – both whites and reds – and though it will take some serious time and hard work before we’ll be harvesting from these vines, we’re looking forward to it!
Another milestone for us since attending the conference was launching our Kickstarter Campaign. Kickstarter is a company, founded in 2009, that allows creative spirits [that’s us] to share our ideas and goals on their website to seek out and earn financial support. Since their launch, 8.1 million people have pledged over $1.6 Billion to successfully fund nearly 80,000 projects like ours – that’s impressive!
So now here’s the part where we ask you to please check out our page - here’s the link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/376508458/backcountry-winery?ref=email
We’re offering some great rewards so please check them out and back our project if you like what you see! We have 23 days remaining and we’ve reached 10% of our goal. We truly can’t do it without you and we can’t wait to share our winery with all of our supporters!
Preston and Amber both grew up on farms in Northwest Iowa. They share a passion for the outdoors and enjoy taking on new projects to see what adventures will be discovered. As high school sweethearts, they attended Iowa State University together, and now are continuing to pursue their dreams at Backcountry Winery.