Here it is, the tail end of summer. We had a pretty good one and hope you did as well. As far as ourselves go, we did some traveling to see old friends and family, mostly to the beating heart of America, the Great Midwest. Ohio and Wisconsin to be exact. It’s hard to go wrong reconnecting with family and friends, especially after a long period of absence from each other.

Our big moment, however, came on the 17th of June when our son Devon graduated from Oregon State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Geographic Information Systems (GIS). This is a relatively new field, with the degree coming from the relatively new College of Oceans and Atmosphere. It has been a long haul. What that kid had to put up with. If it wasn’t the mind-numbing distance learning during the time of COVID, it was the deployments, foreign and domestic, that caused him to take six years to get a four-year degree. But he stuck with it and has now earned his degree. We had a big party for him here at the tasting room. There was music and catering and the wine flowed smoothly. His grandfather even came out from the wilds of Kentucky. I’m told we all had a terrific time. We are extremely proud of him and love him dearly. The other really cool thing that happened was that we were informed that Dragon Six’s 2021 PN earned yet another gold medal at the Oregon Wine Institute awards. We’re going out on top.

It is with a bittersweet realization (more sweet than bitter, if I’m being honest), that this train is pulling into its final destination. And what a ride it has been. When it was fun, it was a heck of a lot of fun.  Getting the Dragon bar into the tasting room will always rank as one of the great feats of military operations. Dicey doesn’t begin to describe it. Herself couldn’t even bear to watch because she was convinced that we were going to break the thing getting it in. I call it a military operation because it was conducted by yours truly and some of the stalwarts of VFW Post 3957. As with any serious operation it started with discussing how to conduct said operation over a couple of beers. Then, of course, during the course of the operation the need for careful and methodical steps in the process dictated that we stop and discuss the next move, which required more beer. I can hear you laughing, but the proof, as they say, is in the pudding. The Great Friends and Family Harvest of 2018 leaps to mind. The picking started at 0800 and the first beer was cracked at 0830. People gently fell asleep at the top of the vineyard and had to be rescued from the sun. The crew at the winery doing the work of destemming and washing learned what “bucket beers” were and glad they were to learn of them. And not one person cut off a digit with the sharp pruning shears that we issued to everyone, something that will make even the most cynical among us believe in miracles again. There was the Christmas party with the lovely Jamilla Maries singing and her trusty sidekick Nathan banging the old ivories. And as always seems to be the case, a lot of the time the real party started after the doors were locked after closing. We have been fortunate to make life-long friends from among you and that is something you simply cannot put a price upon. We will miss much and we will miss most of you, but we are glad to have met all of you.

I don’t know if I’ll do another of these before we close for good. I will if I have anything to say. I almost always do so I probably will. But if I don’t, just know that we are grateful for each and every one of you. You could spend your hard-earned dollars anywhere, but you choose to part with some of that geld with us. And for that we thank you. We wouldn’t have made it as far as we did without you. I remain,

Yours in conviviality, comradery, and comity;