When I received an e-vite last week from my friends at Finger Lakes Distilling asking me to come to their “Great Grape Pick-a-rama” to be held 10/10 (today – Columbus Day), three thoughts came to mind:
1. The kids are off of school that day, and it would be a wonderful opportunity to get them outside and be active, while at the same time helping out my good friends at the distillery by picking grapes for their grape liqueur (yummm).
2. We have to get up RIDICULOUSLY early to get there by 8 am, and the kids will hate me.
3. They’ll get over it.
Finger Lakes Distilling is located on Seneca Lake (one of the Finger Lakes in New York state), and is a stand-alone farm distillery. There are literally hundreds of wineries in this area. Some of those wineries create spirits as a by-product of the wine-making process. However, FLD doesn’t make wine, they only craft spirits. Both their story and their products are superbly unique. Please do yourself a favor and read more about them on their site. Their tasting room is gorgeous. Please stop in, if you’re in the area.
So, why am I compelled to bring my children to a distillery on a school vacation day? (There are about a million punch-lines that could go here. I’m going to skip them all.) My admiration for this amazing company started a few years ago, when they were first getting started. I was asked by the president, Brian McKenzie to work with him to create a label design, including hand-painted illustrations, for their line of flavored liqueurs. I subsequently designed the label, and created a unique illustration for each flavor. One of the flavors happens to be grape. The grapes my kids and I picked today will eventually go into the liqueur for which I designed the label. Cool, huh?? :)
Important Side Note: I sometimes take for granted that my kids just “know” what I do for a living. I am surprised sometimes at how little they know about me in this regard. Of course, they know I “paint ALL the time” (That is a direct quote from my son.) Today, I was really able to pull an entire story together, from beginning to end, about my work. I think it was especially fun for them to see my paintings, see the labels, and then see the products on the shelves which utilize my artwork. It is sometimes hard to describe what I do, but this was a really fun way to show them how it all works!
As an artist in this region, I think I have probably created ten thousand gajillion paintings of grapes. I never tire of their beauty. Nor do I tire of collecting glamour shots of them. (Admittedly, my definition of “glamour” is not exactly standard…)
My kids met new friends and played “hide-and-go-seek” in the vineyard. That sounds so fairytale-ish, doesn’t it??
So, the take-away here is… Anytime you send me an e-vite with the phrase “____-a-rama” in the title, you can count on me to come! lol
have a grape day,