Monday, June 29, 2009

"Sparkling Twilight" A New Wine from Olympic Cellars Winery…

Frankly, it wasn’t until last summer that I even knew about the Twilight “Phenomenon.”

That was when a mother and daughter from Scotland visited the winery on their way back to Seattle after spending two days in Forks visiting all the “Twilight” landmarks noted in the book by author, Stephanie Meyer.

This international visit got my attention and so I started asking questions. After searching the internet for stories I was still under the impression that Twilight was a teen book on vampires and werewolves!

By this time, Lisa Martin had started working at the winery and she brought me the first three books to read.

Meanwhile, Twilight visitors continued to streaming in, with Moms tasting wine while their daughters would sit on our couches reading or re-reading the books.

Amazing to me was the fact the first book was released in 2005... and here it was 2008, and I’m just tuning in!

About this time, I started getting requests for a Twilight wine but didn’t seriously pursue it because I didn’t see a connection… first, my thought it was a teen book, and then the fact there were already “vampire” wines already on the market.

Then last fall we partnered with a local B&B on a “Twilight package” before the movie release. By that time I had noticed our visitor demographic had changed and suddenly groups of women were on a “Twilight journey.”

So I finally read the first two books and watched the movie. As I read, I highlighted all the passages that I connected to either personally or from a “wine” perspective.

There were two major insights:

First… disregarding the vampire and werewolf characters, to me Twilight is a beautiful love story describing the purest form of love.

Second and most important… I felt so proud reading Stephanie Meyer’s descriptions of the Olympic Peninsula, our mountains, forests, the beaches and the rain! This is our home and we love it.

After re-reading my highlighted passages, I could almost visualize the wine label and knew what I wanted to do: a sparkling wine! The label would capture the essence of the Olympic Mountains at “Twilight” and also offer a heartfelt thank you to all that visit the Peninsula.

And I knew exactly where to go to capture my vision for the label.

See, when you drive back from Seattle, about 20 miles outside of Sequim you turn a corner and there towering above the road before you, are the quintessential Olympic Mountains, cascading slope after slope into the far away distance, each mountain a different hue of gray to pink to a deep purple depending on the time of day.

And so, on June 13, 2009 we released our “Twilight” wine... a sparkling Syrah.

This is how the back label reads:

A sparkling wine that bubbles with enthusiasm in celebration of your day’s journey and adventures.

Sipped at Twilight as the Olympic Mountains take on the dazzling hues of the coming night, tiny bubbles mirror the Sparkling sky.

Enjoy the berry fruit character of this lively and refreshing Syrah. Off-dry, ruby in color, with fresh flavors of raspberries, cherries and red fruit.

Click Here to Order

We hear from visitors every day how much they love the Peninsula and on their next visit will schedule more time to just ENJOY… the beauty, serenity, earth’s bounty and the abundance of mountain and water activities.

Cheers, Kathy

PS. First Insight… The Love Story. This is a compilation of Stephanie Meyer’s passages that I highlighted and a little bit of my thoughts.

Twilight… the end of the day, the return of the night. It’s not the end, it’s the beginning.

Celebrate your journey to the Olympic Peninsula where love can last FOREVER.Before you, my life was like a moonless night.

Very dark, but there were stars—points of light and reason. And then you shot across my sky like a meteor. Suddenly everything was on fire; there was brilliancy, there was beauty.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Mitch Hansen Bands Plays Port Angeles

Today I was delivering our new wine “Sparkling Twilight” (a sparkling Syrah) to a local restaurant in Port Angeles of Twilight fame, Bella Italia. (More about the wine in next blog.)

Ran across the street to made a quick stop at the Dazzled By Twilight store to check in with manager, Victoria McDonald. Next week we plan to decorate the empty storefront of Gottschalks Department store with prom dresses, also a photo op for Twilight fans visiting the North Olympic Peninsula (Port Angeles, Forks and La Push).

Decorating empty storefronts is just part of much bigger volunteer effort to paint, polish & scrub close to 40 buildings this summer. I'll tell you more later about the project, Our Community At Work, Painting Downtown Port Angeles. We've clocked more than 3,000 volunteer hours.

I noticed quite a crowd in the store and could see through the windows that there were some musicians performing. Even though I’m in the middle of the 4th book in the series, I’m new to the Twilight Phenomenon. But as a small business owner and community supporter, the traffic to the Peninsula from across the country has been great for our local economy.

Victoria greeted me with excitement introducing me to Mitch Hansen and Brent Cook, The Mitch Hansen Band. Their songs will be part of the sound track for the next movie “New Moon”. I left after listening to “Lullaby” heading back to the winery and then basically made an illegal u-turn. Parked, grabbed by new trusty flip video and headed back to the store.

I couldn’t miss this opportunity to share this special, almost private concert. Victoria scored when she got Mitch and Brent to make a one hour stop on their way to Forks for the Twilight Symposium, spending only 48 hours in Washington away from their Atlanta hometown.

So enjoy… I just posted 4 short videos including the song, Already Dead.

Cheers, Kathy

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Father-isms and Special Memories

Ralph and I are headed to Ellensburg today. His father passed away in February and all the family is gathering for a “Celebration of Life” on Father’s Day – up in the hills at their Charlton hunting cabin where the memories are documented in a series of spiral notebooks going back for years. Whenever you visit the cabin you are suppose to write a note in the book and date it. This was a whole new side of family that I began to love.

When I first visited the cabin after Ralph and I got married I wrote, “We will move to Washington in four years”. It actually took six and we started a new chapter in our life.

As you might remember, I wrote a blog on Mother’s Day titled Mom-isms. Thought it would be a real easy follow-up to do Father-isms for my weekly TGIF email. Not So!

In thinking back through my childhood and talking to Ralph we both said, “our fathers didn’t talk as much as our mothers”.

I have a lot of favorite memories but few Father-isms quotes. Both Ralph and I agreed on two…

If we asked our Dad if we could do something, the usual response was…
“What Did Your Mother Say?”

And the Best of All, I can close my eyes and see my Dad mouthing these words…

Go Ask Your Mother!

Memories… there are many. Close your eyes with me and remember yours...

  • Dancing with my father while standing on his feet
  • Dad coming home from work at 5:15 p.m. every day. Both my parents would have a “little tottie” before dinner and we would all gather (maybe that is why we have the Gathering Room at the winery)
  • Dad cooking every Sunday after church. BIG PRODUCTION. As I grew older, all I wanted to do is eat fast and go out with my friends. Now I remember the BBQs, the caesar salad made from scratch and cleaning the shrimp together over the sink.

Father’s Day - Enjoy, Remember, Share, Connect…

Happy TGIF, Kathy

PS. Some other Father-isms I found on the internet…

  • You can't have a champagne budget with a beer income
  • As long as your feet are under my supper table, you'll follow my rules
  • If you drive up to our house, park in the driveway and honk the horn, you better be delivering a pizza because you won't be taking my daughter out
  • Good girls don’t call boys
  • If you expect to be treated like a lady, you should always act as one
    (Notice a trend of very opinionated, protective and traditional fathers)
  • Do you think I'm a millionaire?
  • Do you think money grows on trees!

And, we all know the last father-ism…

No matter what happens, you can always come home!

Friday, June 12, 2009

This Working Girl Can Buy More Shoes

A few years ago I came up with a new resolution which was pretty radical: Nothing new can come into my home until something leaves via re-gifting, donation or passing down to my kids. This I communicated to my husband who was quite impressed. My rationalization… this would stop my impulse buys.

Now, of course, this resolution did NOT involve the major 3 purchases in my life: clothes, jewelry and shoes. I’ve listed these in alpha order because for me priority depends on the mood of the day that sends me on the search for instant gratification.

Since clothes were not part of my resolution I needed a solution for limited closet space. About a year ago I donated clothes to an auction to make more room and then totally regretted the decision. While I hadn’t worn them in years I didn’t realize I had ‘attachment syndrome’. Now, I’ve gone so far as to buy those suck-um-up bags to store some favorites & open up a bit of space in my closet.

My rationalization for “plastic storage” was my new fashionista sense of style “closet vintage with a hippie, hobo-lux look”. Bottom line I just can’t seem to part with clothes or shoes, that have special memories or cost too much or I might wear some day and for sure the style will be in fashion again!

I’m getting to the shoe part…

We all know the fashion industry has played with our heads on the whole sizing game for years. Yes, I can wear a smaller size then I did in high school but everyone knows the clothes are now made bigger.

Shoes on the other hand, I thought were just the opposite. I had to buy larger sizes because the cost of making shoes had gone up so the same size shoe just kept getting smaller.

Obviously, I had no real logic for my rationalization but it worked in my head until I uncovered this really cute pair of sandals in my closet. They had the perfect heel height for jeans that had shrunk in length.

So depressing, I couldn’t even slip all 5 toes into the sandal. Then I decided maybe my feet were sweaty, so put some knee high hose on. That didn’t work. Then I thought, aaah, I ate Mexican food last night and my feet are swollen from all that salt. Wrong. The next day, I still couldn’t get my dang feet in those sandals.

I lamented my fate during another Working Girl meeting. I blurted out this whole story as if it was the major crisis of the day. Molly just looked at me, as only Molly can do, and said point blank, “Kathy, your feet spread with age”.

Feet, too! Is nothing sacred on my body? Back to rationalization... I have a few better excuses. I’m blaming it on the winery and moving to the Northwest. My feet just got used to work shoes, cement and socks in Birkenstock style sandals – that’s why I have feet spread, it’s not from age. I haven’t had the opportunity or the time to train my feet back into cute shoes that are in my closet!

So what does a girl gotta do? I hauled out all my size 8 shoes.

I now have a goal. I have shoe holes to fill and I can do it without a guilty conscience. It’s also my birthday month.

I really do need to stop rationalizing. Shop, enjoy and finish the day with a glass of Go Girl Red!

Cheers and TGIF, Kathy

Ps. Maybe that’s why I love National Flip Flop Day at Olympic Cellars. I don’t have to worry about feet spread!