Another picture of boxes. These are in our cellar at home so you get a little peak inside our collection. The boxes though won’t be going into our cellar we’ll be having a End Bin sale next week. Figuring out allocations is always hard but we usually do pretty well in selling just about everything with just a little left. It’s a hard thing to figure out but we have a few good brokers who are willing to wait for direct sales to end and then step in and take what ever is left over.
I try to leave just two cases of each wine. One for us that will go into our collection and personal cellar and one that will go into our library to replace any problem bottles that might be reported in the future. On a few occasions I’ve been down to just a few bottles we end up keeping but usually I can get us at least a case for our use.
When ordering season is over and we’re down to just a few cases of something I send a note to our storage facility to send everything they have left of that wine. I always say ‘everything’, because it’s a good way to match up inventory. It also cuts down on phone tag with the warehouse: “You said send 3 but there are only two here, what do we do?”. “Send everything.”
On some items we will have more than two cases left and when that happens I have a blow out sale. I’ll do that next week on a few items. I reduce prices 25-50% and we sell them off by the case, shipping included, first come first serve. We’ll have about 5 cases of Sessen to sell as well as two cases of Harvest Moon Special Reserve and two cases of Split Rail Syrah. Not a ton of stuff but great for bargain hunters. I’ll post the sales here and on Facebook. Usually the people on Facebook get the update faster so if you’re not a friend or fan there, do it now!
That’s a picture of shipments going to Arizona. They were sitting in our garage this morning waiting to be hauled up to the cellar at Chaine d’Or for storage over the summer. It looks like we are not going to be able to get out Texas, Georgia, Louisiana, Florida and Arizona. The weather just did not cooperate for us this spring.
We had plenty of good cool weather in California but the South warmed up quickly and never cooled for any length of time. I know we’ve had late orders in the past that didn’t make it out, but this is the first time I remember the window closing so early to so many states. It was really the first week of March when we started shipping and in many states it was already too late.
We’ll move all of that wine in package to the dry room cellar at Chaine d’Or where we will store it with the estate library wine for the summer. It will ship in the fall when the window opens back up. The cellar is perfect at 58-60 degrees all summer and we’ll leave everything in shipping boxes so it is ready to go.
We have been shipping out orders from the Spring release for about a week now. We are holding the southeastern U.S. due to the heat wave there but everything else looks open. The release included 2009 Crimson Clover Cabernet Sauvignon, 2009 Santa Cruz Mountains Cabernet Sauvignon and 2006 Uvas Creek Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon.
As usual we have to ship in small batches. We are not big enough to get a regular pick up from UPS so we have to be able to fit everything in the back of our car to run to UPS. Since we stage shipping out of the garage, which is also small, we can handle about 30 cases a day maximum. We do expect to have everything out that is not on a weather hold though in 2-3 weeks.
We’re shipping east coast orders on Thursday and Friday now. That holds it over weekend west of the Rockies which is cooler than holding it east of the Rockies. Those shipments have to over weekend somewhere and we feel better about having it in the west which is cool right now. There still is enough wine to fill orders. We’re very low on the Uvas and Crimson but can still take orders on both.
We have a new employee on the Stefania Wine team. Our friend Jaye is going to be working with us through the shipping season and harvest. If she likes the work we’re hoping she will stay on and help out through next year as well. That’s a picture of her in the garage making boxes as part of the shipping process.
When we talked last year about expanding to a location in San Jose and opening a tasting toom we knew we wanted Jaye to run the tasting room operation. We still have that as part of our future plans, but it looks like it would be 2013 at the soonest. So in the mean time she’ll be working in the less glamourous garage and home office with us. That makes 5 employees on payroll. (I’m unpaid help)
That actually got me pretty mad as I though about it. I came up with a simple formula:
Solyndra + $575,000,000 in your tax money = ZERO JOBS
Stefania Wine + $0 in tax money = FIVE JOBS
Forward this to your congress critter 🙂 Anyway I’m not supposed to rant too much. We’re really excited to have Jaye helping out. She’ll learn a little winemaking this weekend and join Millie, Jerry, Stef, Ron, and I at the winery Monday for her first harvest day.