Time sure flies when you are having FUN!
I use the word “fun” loosely… The past couple of months have been challenging to say the least. It seems for each step forward, we take two steps back.
Winery / Tasting Room Plans
We have started working on plans for our winery & tasting room. We have been looking at two different options;
- Utilize our existing facility – our existing Barn was built by QSI and is a 40′ x 60′ “Pole Barn”
- Build a New facility – we have been seeking bids from QSI, Morton Buildings, Sand Creek Post and Beam, and a few others
Each of these options have their benefits and drawbacks. And, each one of these options comes with it's own set of headaches!
Our first option, which is the most economical, would be to utilize our existing 40′ x 60′ building to house our winery and tasting room. This structure would provide us with 2400 sq. ft of building space to start out with.
We have submitted our building plans to the county and they have provided us with an approval based on one caveat… The septic system (which has never been used) needs to be upgraded to meet the new county codes.
This is all well and good, we have done some research into this and it won't be that big of an expense.
Our biggest problem is locating someone in the county that is willing to perform the transformation of this structure, from barn to winery/tasting room. This seems to be a reoccurring issue with contractors in the area. Most of them will setup an initial meeting, come out, survey the project… But then they never get back to us with an estimate on the cost.
The construction issues are also plaguing us with our 2nd option too…
Our second option, while being a little more expensive (our general thought anyway). This option is starting to look like a better, more viable, option for the long run.
However, similar to the issues we are having with the local construction crews on receiving a bid to remodel our existing structure. We are not having very good luck with getting any of the well known “Pole Barn” companies in getting bids back for our new facility.
So far we have contacted QSI, Morton Buildings, and Sand Creek Post & Beam and the only company that followed through with any plans/bid was the later.
Our concept for our winery/tasting room is similar to the image provided to us by Sand Creek (see image to the right).
While we like the Sand Creek Post and Beam company, they do not actually construct the barn that we are interested in. Instead, they provide a kit and we have to locate a construction crew to build out the foundation and construct the barn. Which puts us back to square one… Locating a dependable construction company!
At this rate, it could take us several years to open up a tasting room…
Agritourism and Signage
Douglas County, KS has given us verbal approval of our Agritourism application and Venue Signage permit. However, we are still awaiting the actual delivery of the signed approvals so that we can move forward with the installation of our vineyard sign.
Our sign uses a little more nostalgia than most would expect (see image).
Our plan is to add a wooden bed to the truck and then place a few wine barrels on the back of the truck. We are preparing a location for the truck to be located towards the entrance into our property.
Once we have this project completed, we will post some updated pictures along with some details on a few surprises we have in-store for our sign.
Our vines have been growing like weeds!
This year's rains have supplied an ample amount of water for our vines to grow and the hot summer days have provided the necessary sunshine too. Both the 1st year and 2nd year vines are doing exceptionally well.
Here are just a few pictures of The Vines for your viewing pleasure.
There is never a dull moment around here these days. It seems like everyday we have a list of tasks we need to get completed and there never seems to be enough time in the day to get them all done.
We have a sign hanging in our kitchen that reads;
Plant a vineyard, they said it would be fun! Ha, Ha, Ha….
It has been fun, don't get me wrong, we have had a lot of fun experiences and created some good memories.
But, I tell everyone I know “I have worked harder in these last two years than I have ever worked in my life!” And that is no joke!
Until next time….