Fourth leaf refers to the number of times our vines have broken bud and leafed out. This will be our fourth leaf in 2018 and our vines will have been in our soil for three full years. A milestone that promises better fruit, better harvest, and wine from our own vineyard (in addition to our leased vineyard). That's what this has been about. Getting from that to this.
As I write this post, I look back and forward. Since our post mid-2017, we've blended and bottled our first red wines, a 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon and two 2016 Bordeaux style reds, one Cabernet Sauvignon heavy (for a heartier red wine) and one Merlot heavy (for a lighter red wine).
We also had an initial small harvest of red grapes (Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot). We completed our winter vineyard inventory and are really pleased that vine loss this past year was less than 1%.
We invested much time, energy, and money in weed control and vineyard floor management in 2017. This isn't easy work; its old-fashioned hoeing and shoveling by hand of every one of our 146 rows, that, we believe, will pay dividends this year when we expect a much more fruitful harvest and larger scale winemaking.
Looking forward. We're preparing for opening in 2018. Our opening soon website is up and running. We're getting more visits at the vineyard and messages from our website. Folks really seem excited that we will be open soon. We are also finalizing our website by installing our online store, evaluating for purchase the electronics we will need for our tasting room, including tablets, credit card readers, and other point of sale terminal equipment, and making plans for opening day.
We are also busy managing the vineyard and wine inventory in our small winery, including preparing for replacement vine planting and pruning, and blending and bottling our 2017 vintage, which should include barrel and stainless steel-aged Chardonnay, stainless steel-aged Petit Manseng, two barrel-aged red Bordeaux style blends, and barrel-aged Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot varietal wines.
We couldn't have done all of this without support and help from our growing family, friends, consultants, and contractors. We're looking forward to a glorious opening and having our readers and customers become part of our family.