Autumn 2016 Newsletter

Posted by on Nov 22, 2016 in Andrew's Newsletter | No Comments

Veritas in Autumn

And here we are again in Autumn, the time of the year when we are all reminded of the impermanence of life. After the rush of spring and the glories of summer, the golden leaves start to fall and we feel the foreboding of winter. What tugs at the emotional strings is the realization that this is the circle of life and that life and death are like the sun and the moon. We as individuals will experience only one minuscule of that broad universe and in accepting that we are at ease with peaceful death. Or to quote Mark Twain, “Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.”


View of the vineyard through the changing trees

Life is a journey and before we know it the ride will be over so enjoy the present and do not live in the past, nor pine for the future. We have had a marvelous ride this year with only a few bumps along the way, but we got there in one piece. We had the frost in April that hit the early-budding Chardonnay the most and seemed to set everything back a couple of weeks. Spring was wet and cloudy, a factor that often leads to poor fruit set and consequently lower crop loads. But summer put us back on track with lots of lovely sunshine.

After the angst of harvest, all is safely gathered in. The casks are bubbling as the wines finish fermentation before they settle down for their winter rest. Again the melancholy sets in as the vineyard quietly settles down after the labor pains of harvest and we almost have to fight off feelings of post-partum depression.


The once-green leaves are now yellow

Vintage 2016 Sneak Preview: The whites are reduced in volume but as much as the total load was reduced, the total quality increased. The reds benefitted the most from plentiful sunshine which ripened the skins, softened the tannins and increased the color. Emily claims this is the year of Petit Verdot but from what I have tasted I think it will be the year of Cabernet Franc. Thanks to our most recent plantings on Andrew’s Cliff, it looks like we may be able to make a Reserve Cabernet Franc for the first time in almost ten years!

Paul Shaffer, our cellar master, whose name is inextricably linked to Veritas Petit Verdot, has told us that after fifteen years, this was his last harvest. I think he has said that every year for at least the last five, however I have a sneaking suspicion that this year he means it, especially as has just graduated “Cum Laude” with his GRB (Bachelors in Grape Raking) degree. Anyone who has worked in a winery will know that is no mean achievement.


Cellar Master Paul Shaffer

Tasting Room

The tasting room is the heart and soul of Veritas and we deliberately set things up that way. After almost fifteen years of selling our wines, the tasting room still accounts for 90% of our sales. It is a place where many of our customers have found comfortable ambience – whether on the summer deck or by the winter fireplace. It is that comfortable feeling (and our wines!) that keep our loyal customers coming back. We’ve had many tasting room associates over the years but our tasting room managers, Judy Stiber and Terry Morris, have weathered the downpour of many weekends with the help of Rebecca Garson. Rebecca has been with us from the beginning days in our first tasting room to now.


Rebecca, speed walking champion and champion of Veritas

As long as Rebecca has been with us so has Judy, who is moving on to greener pastures in Florida. All our good wishes to Judy on her new journey!


Judy and Sarah

Introducing Sarah Ponton! Sarah, who came to us from Trump Winery, has been working in the tasting room for a little over a year. She is a native of Nelson County and taught French to the kids at Nelson County High School for many years. She even tried to teach Patricia and I French before we left for our two month sojourns in France.

Employee of the Season

Employee of the season is Clementino Quintero. “Clemmy” takes pride of place as one of the hardest working hard workers that we have ever had at Veritas. He can mow, garden and harvest, but his greatest talent is painting. In his time with us Clemmy probably painted the whole winery. To that honor we awarded him the Veritas Golden Paint Brush award to take back to his family in Costa Rica.


David presented Clementino with a golden paintbrush


Saying Goodbye to Clementino


Can you believe Chloe and Elliott have been married for one whole year!

November 2015


November 2016 – 33 weeks down and 7 to go!

Molly and Andrew’s Peter is one year old.


November 2015


November 2016


And no newsletter would be complete without at least one picture of the Grand Girls.

The Boo-tiful Girls on Halloween

Guy Fawkes or Bonfire night. Remember, remember the 5th of November. Guy Fawkes, powder and plot. As a kid growing up in the UK, Bonfire Night was a much bigger event than Halloween. The Bonfire was the celebration going back to James The First of England when Guy Fawkes planned to blow up Parliament with gunpowder but his plot was foiled and the British have celebrated ever since. Bill and Di being British, and seeing that this year November 5th was on a Saturday, decided to have a bonfire party and party we did!




Well folks, that is all the news from the Veritas family where we are now all connected to our own server with Broadband – at 50 megabytes per second! WOO HOO.

From what has been a glorious, extended Indian summer, let’s look forward to cozy days by the fire.

From all of us at Veritas have a…

Andrew Hodson
Chief Retired Bottle Washer
Dilettante and Raconteur