Last wine adventure (at least for the time being!)

It has been a really busy time around here and it seems like we have packed in quite a few mini-adventures in the recent weeks.   I wanted to update you on our last Wine Exploration adventure.

The last of our  Wine Exploration series was kind of a let down.   We were suppose to go to an actual vineyard, learn about pruning and graphing, practice our new learned art, and sip some wine.

So on a rainy Sunday afternoon, we set off for our final Wine Exploration adventure.   We had gloves, pruners, and mud boots ready to go.    (In fact, we stopped at Target to get me a new stylish pair.)

My new mudders!

We were dressed as one would dress for a rainy-day pruning adventure in a vineyard—the aforementioned rubber boots, jeans, sweaters, wind breakers, hair in pony tail.

We drove to the palatial (and I mean palatial) estate where the class would be held.   We were a bit early and the gate was not opened yet.   Just for fun, I decided I would check my email.   Doh!   Because of the rain, they had moved it!

The good news:   It would be at Girouard Vines (which we love).

The bad news:  We were about twenty miles away and now instead of being early, we would be late.

More bad news:   Apparently everyone else had gotten this email early and was dressed to the nines (definitely not in gardening and pruning gear)!

There would be no use of our pruning garb this day, my friend.   (We did spot a couple of other people in jeans, but I felt a bit out of sorts in my well-broken-in gardening sweater.   I just kept my windbreaker on.)

Thanks to  Girouard Vines for being the rain cancellation venue.    It is always a pleasure to visit this urban winery.

But really, what a bummer.

The wines we had weren’t even Tulsa Deco.

These were good but we didn't learn anything about them. (Sorry about the cleavage shot.)

Tulsa Deco---Wish we could have had these as well!

The pruning expert, Steve Gerkin, did the best he could with a power point presentation (versus being out in the field).    Steve is a retired dentist, recovering grape grower, and is currently an adjunct professor and wine educator at OSU.   He and his wife still make wine; they just have given up on trying to grow the grapes.   About four years ago he kicked the habit and donated all his farm equipment to OSU.   They now buy their grapes.

Steve wanted to show us this video (from the other OSU—Oregon State), but the wifi was spotty at best.   It is very informative and we watched it when we got home.

Spur pruning is what we need to do in Oklahoma and it is also done in Napa.    One of the most interesting things from Steve’s presentation was the different types of unusual pruning that is done around the world.

Basket pruning. Photo credit to

Chris Girouard then took over for the grafting portion.    He is hilarious.   Chris definitely made the best out of a bad situation.    He stated his credentials for giving this lecture at the start—he has unsuccessfully grafted the most vines!

Chris has been around grafting a long time as his father has worked tirelessly to create a good wine grape that would grow in Oklahoma.   Chris said that with the late freeze of 2007 and the drought and heat last year that people are coming around to developing a native grape that can be used for wine.

Here is an easy way, according to Chris, to remember why grafting is necessary.   You can’t just take a seed from a grafted grape and plant it hoping to get the same variety:

See, you never know what will happen from one generation to the next. (This came straight from Chris' PowerPoint---see he is hilarious!)

So, cudos to Steve and Chris for Plan B.   I really wish we could have visited the vineyard that was on tap for the seminar:

This was the teaser on our tables at the winery---the place where we should have been. (Sorry about the crease marks, I stuck it in my purse.)


Maybe some day, our vineyard will look like that!

We have high hopes!

So, after our frou-frou wine event, where did we go in our gardening attire?

A beer bar for burgers and brews!  🙂

(Really, the staff did the best they could, but I really want a do-over.)



13 comments to Last wine adventure (at least for the time being!)

  • I would have rocked the jeans and boot too! 🙂

    Sounds like a fun day despite the weather. Don’t you wish every day could be spent in a vineyard?!

    • Eliot

      Thanks, Laura. Our dream is to spend some vacation time in NAPA some day! (Maybe I can rock the boots there too!)

  • I so enjoyed your post!!!! You had me laughing out loud at numerous spots, with the Sheen pic topping it of! Serious LOL.
    I’ve been in inappropriate clothes like that before and it just makes you a bit off, doesn’t it? I can’t wait to see your vineyard grow. We have some friends who have a vineyard in Oakhurst, near Yosemite, and they have been pretty darn successful. He’s on about his 10th year of winemaking and I have to say he’s done a really, really good job. I’m eager to follow your progress!

    So glad you liked the PB cookies!! My daughter just asked if we could make them again for this weekend… that would be 4 batches in 12 days!
    Happy Spring!

    • Eliot

      Thanks, Kim. I just kept thinking, “We probably won’t ever see most of these people again and if we do it will be next year!”

      I don’t know if we will ever have a successful harvest but I just love the romance of having vines!

  • I’m getting a little jealous of all your vino adventures… I might start ‘wining’ about it… arr-arrr…;-). Thanks for the pruning tips!!

  • Good news, the wine doesn’t care how you were dressed! Love the Sheen analogy…had me laughing!

    • Eliot

      Excellent point, Rhonda! I can’t take credit for that Sheen analogy. Chris had us in stitches over it.

  • I would have wanted to go out pruning too, but I at least it was not a totally wasted trip. Interesting info on pruning, good to know. Also, loved the analogy with the Sheen family-ha! Thanks for sharing your wine adventure and a picture of your wild looking boots.

  • Sounds like the fun and learning out weighed the clothing faux pas!

  • Liz

    Oh, rats…I’m sorry the rain messed with your fun! But look at the cute boots you got from it all. Fingers crossed your vinyard will be fabulous when it matures~

  • Liz is right. The boots made it totally worth it!

    Love those, btw. Where did you get them?