Sandhill Crane Vineyards is a new-ish winery in southern Michigan, owned and run by the Moffatt family. Dad (Norman) was a winemaker for decades -- he started out with dandelions, elderberries, that sort of thing. As the years went by he perfected his craft -- purchasing wine grapes at Detroit's Eastern Market and producing some very drinkable amateur wine.
Nobody's quite sure how we made the decision to go commercial. There were a lot of factors: proximity to Lone Oak (new at the time), Holly's strong interest in winemaking, my Dad's need to always be busy and exploring new things... Somehow these factors (and more) came together and we found ourselves with a small commercial winery. And it's been going gang-busters ever since.
One of the things we all love best is how our customers respond to the family aspect of the winery. At one time or another the entire family gets involved. Dad (Norm) watches over everthing. Mom (Alice) works in the tasting room and does the day-to-day bookkeeping. Aunt Anne (Holly and I call her "Anna") also mans the tasting room. She's a perfectionist -- when she's around you won't find a spot on the glasses...
Holly, of course, is our winemaker. She took all the knowledge Dad passed on to her, added lots of technical info from seminars, etc, and brought in her own sense of organization and practicality. She's a stickler for attention to detail and watches over her wines like an ICU nurse in a newborn ward. Add in an exceptional palate (even with the world's worst sinuses!) and she's become a terrific winemaker in just a few short years.
Holly's and my families help out at special events and behind the scenes, as does our brother Tom and his family. Everyone else (Leo, Robin, and all the friends who help out at special events) are adopted family.
I work elsewhere full-time but find myself with lots of winery chores that are becoming more and more full-time themselves. I do the marketing, the buying for the gifts in the tasting room, the website, etc. And here I am adding one more job -- a blog.
My idea behind this blog is to chat in a friendly, informal way about the workings of Sandhill Crane Vineyards. What's going on behind the scenes. The kind of info that you won't find in a press release. Sort of an extension of the family atmosphere surrounding the place. So, from now on, consider yourself one of the family.