Summer's End at the Cellar
It’s that time of year. Children, some with excitement and some not, begin thinking about going back to school. Parents embark on the difficult task of gathering school supplies and getting back to routines. People return from travels near and far to get back in the swing of things. Our thoughts here in Texas return to football. The days are long and hot, and grape growers, refractometers in hand, are minding the Brix levels of their fruit.
While August is a busy time for many, you might be surprised to learn that it’s a relatively calm time in our tasting room. But really, it’s the calm before the storm…also known as fall here in the Texas wine country, our busiest time of year.
Looking back, we’ve had a full summer at 4.0. We kicked things off with a fabulous Thomas Michael Riley concert in late May. We then hosted three Wine Club Sundays, a rehearsal dinner, and a wedding in June. In July, 65 industry folks joined us for the Texas Hill Country Wineries tasting room managers’ luncheon, and at the end of the month, we organized a staged photo shoot (flowers, dresses, and all) on our property…be on the lookout for some gorgeous photos coming soon to our website!
But for now, we have some rare calm. Families are returning home from trips, people are generally staying put, and everyone is gearing up for an event-packed fall. But there is one group of people who we see a lot of starting in July and extending into August: teachers. We have been slammed with teachers for the past couple of weeks, and by teachers, I mean all kinds of school personnel. At one point, while I was busy leading a cheese and wine pairing in the conference room for two teachers from the Dallas-Ft. Worth area, the tasting room was filled with teachers and coaches. And pretty much every single group that I’ve served in the past two weeks has included at least one teacher.
As a former teacher, I vividly recall the breathless feeling of the last few weeks of summer. I remember feeling certain that I’d squandered the previous weeks not doing enough relaxing or cooking or reading or travelling or being with family and friends or cleaning or listening to music or getting the house organized or spending time with my dogs…basically, not doing enough of all the things that most people manage to do all the time but that teachers don’t really have any time to do during the school year. I recall wishing I could have the summer back, a do-over, even as I was being called back to school for endless meetings before the students arrived.
So, it’s no surprise to me that teachers show up for wine in the weeks before school starts. They need, and certainly deserve, some “advance pampering,” and in many cases, they’re stocking up on wine as they ready themselves for the long nights ahead of grading, planning, and answering emails. Years ago, when I taught in a middle school, every December a couple of parents would show up with cases of wine and tell us to grab our favorite bottles. Those parents got us…and, no surprise, their child was every teacher’s favorite student.
So, as summer winds down, come on by 4.0 to lift a glass to teachers everywhere…those who taught or teach you, those who taught or teach your children or grandchildren (or great-grandchildren), and those who you just happen to know. Perhaps, you should even buy a bottle for your favorite teacher or two. You can bet that it won’t go unappreciated.