Thursday, August 28, 2008

Building taking shape

Lots of visible progress at the site this week, as our exterior walls are going up. We now have a sense for how the building will look on the property and the bottom picture gives you an idea of the great views we'll have from the tasting room floor upstairs. We'll post more next week.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Second string construction crew

A second construction crew has been working hard at the future site of the distillery - but don't worry, they won't be involved w/ the building of the facility. Under the tutelage of my uncle, Mike Matera, Thomas and I have been working on few side projects.

We began with the construction of a lean-to off of our shed. It will offer some shelter for our tractor and some day, our Highland cattle. Pictured below, our tractor in its new spot and distillery dog, Sadie, getting a little shade.

We started a more ambitious undertaking last week - the construction of our malt kiln. We plan to malt our own grains and have been discussing an outbuilding for drying and smoking our malt for some time now. As far as we know, we will be only the second micro-distillery in the U.S. to be malting their own grains.

As you can see, we are begining to make some progress with the shell of our building. When complete, we hope to be able to dry/smoke several hundred pounds of malt at one time. We'll keep you posted on our progress.

Pictured below are my Uncle Mike and Master Distiller, Thomas, inside the framed malt kiln.

Friday, August 15, 2008


Our grapes have begun the veraison stage - a french term for the onset of ripening, where the grapes begin to change color. The crop is looking good.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

More press

We continue to get interest from our initial press release. So far the following publications have picked it up, with many more looking at future pieces...

Elmira Star Gazette
Corning Leader
Ithaca Journal
Odessa File
Wine & Spirits Daily
American Distiller Newsletter
Foodservice East

and our most recent mention in the Central NY Business Journal - click here

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Equipment Road Trip

We just got back from a pretty exhausting road trip to pick up some production equipment. A week or so ago, Thomas spotted some used mash kettles for sale on the internet. We decided to jump on them and quickly scheduled an impromptu trip out to Indianapolis to pick them up ourselves. We figured we'd only be an hour or two from Louisville and since we'd have a little extra room on the trailer, why not pick up some bourbon barrels?

My good friend, Benny, was home that weekend for the Styx/Boston concert. I asked him to join us for the road trip and without hesitation, he agreed. As it turned out, we really appreciated having an extra rider with us, especially the additional laughs that Ben provided.

The problems started in Cleveland, when we discovered that one of the trailer wheels had come off without us realizing it. All of the studs had sheared. None of us had ever seen anything like it. It was a Sunday, so we spent several hours trying to find a new trailer tire, but most places were closed.

We ended up having to get the tire fixed on Monday, delaying our trip by a day. We picked up the kettles, as well as some other equipment that will come in handy. We shot down to Louisville for our barrels and unfortunately, had to miss a tour of Four Roses bourbon distillery (another stop on the itinerary we had planned).

After averaging about 55 mph through the hills of West Virginia, we returned Tues night. It was a long haul, but we accomplished what we needed to.

Below are pictures from the trip. From left to right, Thomas Earl, me, and Benny. The bottom picture is a shot of our cargo.