Things certainly have been happening at Catoctin Creek! In July, we were still in the planning stages of our business, but very busy!
We met with lots of local wineries in the Loudoun County (Tarara, Corcoran, Fabbioli, and Zephania just to name a few). We've been discussing getting grapes and wine from the 2009 harvest, so we can start making brandies and grappas. We're also looking long and hard for good eco-ganic suppliers of grain--which is no easy task in Virginia!
In our business plan contest, we drummed up over 430 new fans to the Catoctin Creek Facebook Page. (If you haven't joined, become a fan today!) Facebook has been very instrumental in helping us secure over 3600 honestly obtained votes in our MyBizCounts contest. Recall that if we win this contest, we get $20,000 to start our business! Despite some very irregular voting from two of the other entries, we feel good with our solid and honestly obtained third-place finish. The next phase of the contest has us providing a summary business plan and an essay describing how we'd use the money. We feel fairly confident in that arena, so we still are very optimistic of a win! Thank you to all of you out there who voted us along!!
After finally getting through with our CPAs, we now have a good handle on our financial situation. We are finally ready to ROCK AND ROLL! We will be ordering our custom-made 400 liter still from Kothe in the next few days! This still is the centerpiece of our entire business, and the one piece of equipment we were unwilling to skimp on--especially since they last upwords of thirty years!
The still will be a beautiful copper and stainless steel 400 liter still from Kothe's standard line. It is heated by a water bath using 3-phase electric power. Above the pot kettle is a three-plate variable column for controlling the reflux of the distillation, plus a doppeldephlegmator, which is a Kothe-patented aparatus for introducing additional reflux to help refine the spirit.
We're so excited to finally get the still on order. We're pressing very hard to get things in place and ready so we could get at least a few drops flowing before the year is over. This will take a sizeable amount of work, and an even more sizeable amount of luck! But it's good to know that we are now well on our way!
Scott & Becky