March 6, 2011

Winery Construction

As always, we're trying to find more space to make more wine. We're in the process of building a huge office / playroom / guest suite in the upper reaches of the winery that way we can clear out some more production space. Going to be a great "clubhouse" for the boys and a perfect area for Shannon to keep them "penned in" so she can get her work done as well.

We've just about completed the floor, next steps will be the electrical installation then we'll begin on the drywall. Zack and Jeff also consolidated the 2009 case goods, opening up a lot more space, which we'll need in a few weeks as we begin to bottle the 2010 whites.

We have so many concurrent projects going on right now, we're just sort of moving from one to the next, keeping them all moving in the right direction!

Posted by Stephen at 7:33 AM

June 28, 2009

Nursery Painting

OK I usually try not to put our personal family stuff out on the vineyard blog, but this is one of those exceptions. We are fortunate to have an amazing reknowned folk artisan in the family, Debbie Hartwick of Heartwells Designs. Debbie offered to help us paint the nursery, so we jumped at the opportunity! We had decided on a cute medieval theme for little Ronan Tylor, and basically told Debbie we wanted a "cute castle with a dragon somewhere" and she just ran with it. Done in a folk art Americana style, we are absolutely floored by the result. Can't wait to have our little man move in!!!

Enjoy the pics!

Posted by Stephen at 12:52 PM

May 22, 2008

A Roadie Looks at Forty...

Turned 40 today. Sometime in the near future I'll update this entry with ruminations on hitting this milestone. I did manage to have a small "party" with Shannon and the boys, check out the pics at the end of this gallery we put together after the Xerox event we hosted a couple weeks ago.

As for spending a nice relaxing day lounging about the house, well that just ain't happening. Started the day by hitting the road at 7:30 to pick up chemicals down in Winchester. Started seeing some black rot out in the vineyard, most likely due to all the rain we've been having so I need to pick up some additional fungicide to squash this annoyance before it goes any further. Picked up a few parts for the auger at Tractor Supply then headed home. Dug some fence post holes until I got fed up with digging up rocks by hand, then traded the auger on the tractor for the sprayer. Put down the third spray of the season, mostly fungicides but also a special fertilizer - BM86 - to hopefully mitigate the green shot we saw in last year's Cabernet Franc clusters:

Topsin-M - 1.5 lb per acre
Microthiol Special - rate 4 lb per acre
Dithane DF Rainshield Nt - rate 4 lb per acre
BM 86 - 2 qt per acre

Seve and the guys will be out after the re-entry interval passes to do some shoot positioning and vine training. So far the vineyard is looking great!

Posted by Stephen at 3:59 PM

May 13, 2008

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday Shannon!

Stephen, Tristan & Duncan

Posted by Stephen at 12:51 AM

January 14, 2007

Duncan's First Visit

We brought Duncan over to the new house today for a peek. He seemed relatively uninterested and slept through the whole thing...

Check out the pics.

Posted by Stephen at 4:42 PM

January 11, 2007

Duncan Gregor Mackey

Shannon, Tristan and I are proud to announce the birth of Duncan Gregor Mackey, born at 4:35 PM on Thursday 11-January-2007.

10 lbs. 6 oz.
22 inches long
15 inch head
14 1/2 inch chest

As with Tristan, Shannon elected to have Duncan naturally, with no epidural or anesthesia of any kind. Due to her condition of polyhydramnios and Duncan's apparent large size, our midwife Paula Senner insisted on breaking her water a week early. Good thing too, because another week in the womb and he would have been over 11 lbs! Here is the play-by-play:

8:00 AM - arrive at Birthing Inn
8:30 AM - shoot some footage for the HGTV show
9:40 AM - Paula breaks the water and strips the membranes
10:30 AM - Contractions increasing in intensity, walking the halls
11:00 AM - First big contraction, still walking
12:00 PM - 7 cm, second stage labor, staying in room leaning on yoga ball while standing beside bed
2:00 PM - on all fours in bed on yoga ball, not comfortable
2:30 PM - moved into the tub
3:45 PM - transition, extreme contractions and pain
4:15 PM - getting out of the tub, moving towards the bed
4:30 PM - in bed, laying on right side

At this point, Paula checked her and realized Duncan was here - she quickly grabbed her gown and gave me Shannon's left knee and told her to push. Two pushes and the head was out. Paula told her to pause while she checked his shoulders, then told her to push again. Two more pushes and he was out, born at 4:35 PM!

We are so happy that Shannon and Duncan are in perfect health and safely back home. Thanks for all the well-wishes from all our friends and family, and special thanks to Paula Senner of Loudoun Community Midwives, as well as her colleagues Wendy Dotson and Margie Brandquist for their incredible care, support and faith in women who want to experience natural childbirth. It couldn't happen without you!

Meet our little boy!

Posted by Stephen at 11:07 PM

July 18, 2005

New Baby!!!

Tristan Connor Mackey was born today at 1:46 AM - 9 lbs 8 oz and 21 inches long. Shannon delivered him naturally without drugs or epidural using the Bradley Method of natural childbirth.

Tristan's picture from the Birthing Inn

Momma and baby are doing great!

Posted by Stephen at 8:31 PM

Our Baby Is Coming!

Shannon woke up this morning about 5:30 AM feeling some light contractions. They picked up in intensity about 7:30, but since we had two false alarms this week we didn't want to get too excited. So I went over to the vineyard to continue tying vines. I checked in via cell phone about every 15 minutes, and sure enough the contractions were picking up in frequency and intensity. By 11:30 we decided I needed to get home to get ready to head to the hospital. Our baby boy is coming!

Posted by Stephen at 2:57 PM

December 5, 2004

Bye Bye Connecticut

No matter how badly you want to leave somewhere, there are always some mixed feelings. Today we are leaving CT for good, and although we are so excited to get established in VA, this was Shannon's first house, and our first home together. Lot's of great memories here. It's funny how years from now when we'll go to tell a story, we'll precede it with "Back when we were living in Connecticut..."

Here is the place where we fell in love, dreamed up a vineyard, got engaged, sought and earned career advancements, travelled all around, lost a Grandma, got married, endured the frustrations of remodeling, and enjoyed the final results. Here was our first Christmas together, and the place where we hosted our first Thanksgiving dinner. Too many firsts to list!

Seems like we're caught in a whirlwind right now, and many of the memories are buried beneath the craziness of the move, but I think that in the years to come, we'll look back fondly on our time here - if for no other reason than to remember it as the place where two lives came together and were forever joined. Whatever hardships we've endured over the past two years will fade with the passage of time, and the love and laughter will live on.

So to 152 Vista Terrace we say "Thank You. Good Luck. Goodbye."

Our house

Posted by Stephen at 4:07 AM | Comments ( 1 )

June 12, 2004

Wedding Day!

Wedding day! Someday we'll write up the complete story, but for now here is a nice blog by our buddy Brian. Just a few pictures here until we upload the entire gallery: candle lighting, wedding party, reception tent. Thanks to everyone who helped us make it happen - you know who you are!

Posted by Stephen at 8:54 PM | Comments ( 1 )

March 29, 2003


We're engaged! Someday I'll write up the whole story and link to it, since it was so awesome. Quickly though, we got engaged on the exact same spot we met at the Dade County Youth Fair almost ten years ago today. Total surprise!

Posted by Stephen at 4:47 PM