In February, when Allegro purchased the land, buildings, and equipment of the former Naylor Wine Cellars in Stewartstown, we knew that we were on the cusp of big changes. Little could we have known how much the whole world would change over the course of the next months, as the pandemic hit the world and we all hunkered down. It felt strange to have put so much energy into ideas of expansion, only then to contract for a little while.
Fortunately, we have managed to keep ourselves and the business safe, thanks to Carl's diligence with details large and small.
One thing which hasn't changed, amid all of the upheaval in the world, is the fact that the vines have still grown and the grapes are still ripening. Harvest is coming, and in a world ripe with "Ready or Not"s, Carl would certainly rather be ready.
As Allegro's wine production continues to increase, our fermentation will now be split, with red wines to all be fermented at our crush pad at the winery in The Brogue and whites at the Stewartstown facility. That has meant a colossal shift in the tank inventories, as four 1500-gallon and two 800-gallon tanks from Stewartstown have come to The Brogue, while four 2000-gallon tanks have been moved in the other direction.
One by one, the tanks have been moved, put upright, and are currently in the process of being put into place at their respective locations. This has meant lots of work for Dwayne with the forklift, and welding taking place before the tanks are moved to their pre-harvest crush pad destinations.
So...it's a time of flux amid a greater time of flux, but it does feel good to see purposeful change and know that, accompanying the beginning of the change of seasons, we are readying ourselves for the coming harvest. It's a year unlike any other year, for Allegro as well as for the world, and the 2020 vintage will certainly always have a kind of asterisk by its notation. How strange it will be, years from now, to open a bottle of Allegro's 2020 red wine and remember all of this.
Yesterday afternoon, after the thunderstorm passed, I took a walk to the field and looked back to the winery and crush pad. Look what I saw...