The Final Touches
By April the wood floors are finished, two bathrooms have been built, and I have repaired the god-awful front door. Now is the time for the creative final touches. My design plan was simple: create the lovechild of a Parisian lycée and a Paso Robles tasting room.
I wanted to incorporate elements from our prior two locations.
Then it was time to introduce some new ideas:
My favorite project was creating the first-known cork gabion (ga·bi·on ˈɡābēən/noun a wirework container filled with rock, broken concrete, or other material, used in the construction of terraced vineyards, retaining walls, etc). The gabion on the right holds corks from our years at the old location. The second will be filled with corks from classes in our new digs.
And we’re not done yet. Over the summer I’ll be putting the finishing touches on our fermentation lab downstairs (we already brewed a Saison). I’m also designing a sexy new media system to use during class. Finally, we’ll be framing and displaying all of our accolades since the Wine School’s inception.
It’s About Love, Not Money
This year, I have had several people tell me that the Wine School is their absolute favorite place in Philadelphia. Others have said the school is the thing that got them through a tough time. Many say our wine courses changed the trajectory of their lives. It may be corny and ridiculous for such things to matter so much to me, but they do.
This isn’t about running a business. If it was, I’d go back into wine consulting. It’s about being the caretaker of something truly awesome. The school is a safe harbor for people who are smart, talented, eclectic, and wildly passionate about wine. One thing I can assure you, I’ve travelled the wine world, and there isn’t another place like the Wine School of Philadelphia. And that’s why doing this a third time is totally worth a half year of sweat.