5300 Hydes Rd
Mustard is probably the first association that comes to mind when you hear the word ‘DEJON’. It was to us also. When we visited the rich farmlands and vineyards of France on our honeymoon, we traveled through Dijon, and did indeed enjoy the succulent tastes of the mustards that the region had to offer. Each mustard was as succinct and varied as a wine; to tease and stroke the tongue into the full awareness of the flavor offered. If one mustard did not please, there were many others to choose from.
It did not take us long to play with the word and realize that Denise and John also formed DEJON and we were not talking about mustard. We traveled through the wine country of Bordeaux quite extensively on our honeymoon, and we fell in love with everything wine. We learned to appreciate the full aroma of the deeply hued reds, the sensate pleasure of every taste bud imbedded in the tongue as the wine joyfully released its full flavor into every corner of our mouth. We held our glasses of perfect Chablis or delicate Chardonnay into the luminous crisp sunlight of a cloudless day, and watched the sun spill its sparkling warmth across the crystal so that our glasses and our hands and our wine were aglow with the full spectrum of the rainbow.
Wandering through the many vineyards that we visited, tasting the wonderful wines that each region offered, talking to vintners that have succeeded their ancestors in the winery, hearing their stories and watching as the grapes were plucked from their vines, plump to the point of obesity, with its ruby color running down your fingertips as you sneaked a bite; was when the idea of a DEJON Vineyard was quietly born.
Starting a vineyard is something we have discussed, but never really thought could come to fruition. It is a lot of work and time and money; and in the meantime, we could not give up our day jobs. In addition, we had come together with five children to share and get through school. Time passes quickly on the slowest of days; and then one realizes that the time to do what you want is never more right than now, and so, DEJON Vineyards was born. So was our granddaughter, only a few years earlier.
John and I began our wine trail with a cattle farm. We bought five poled Hereford cows and one bull from a neighbor. We learned everything about cows the hard way. Our lives became a little more country as we learned the truism of make hay while the sun shines. You do need a few days of strong sun while you cut, dry, rake, bale and bring in the hay you have grown. That doesn’t count the tractor or the baler breaking, or running out of hay string or having to stay late at work, or a sick child and so on. We learned everything the hard way about birthing baby cows, becoming very well known to our large animal vet, and stopping traffic on Hydes Rd. more than once when one of our herd decided to lead a pilgrimage in search of greener pastures. Cows do exactly what they want to and you cannot, repeat you cannot outrun them.
We had a lot of fun, but gradually we realized that our main hay field was really a wetland and that we could not keep up with the repairs to our fence, and that every time a car decided to hit our fence and fly into our fields, we had to do emergency repairs at once. We sold our cows, an act that our granddaughter still doesn’t like, and we waited . We noticed that we missed farming and activity on our land. We facilitated our wetlands into their full blooming, creating 20 acres of winter ponds and allowing native foliage to grow as it wanted to. We watched as over sixty thousand trees were planted and the animals quietly scurried into their preferred habitats as their surroundings stabilized. We walk the wetlands regularly, amazed every time by something; perhaps it is a bird never seen before by us, or a large russet fox as it races into its den, its bushy tail a fiery plume of color as it disappears. It may be an animal print that is obscured by wind or rain and is difficult to make out.
We have had so much fun there this winter; enjoying the ponds as they froze over, watching our granddaughter and her friend play hockey upon them with their boots and a stick from the ground and a pebble. The geese fly over with their strong nasal honking as a deer steps shyly into the open, looking for a meal, and the sun begins its sleepy westward journey, trailing a multitude of majestic colors behind it like the tail of kite, and if you are lucky, you can hear the awakening hoot of the first owl. We begin our way back home, pleasantly chilled, but deeply humbled by the generous beauty of the land and grateful to our bones that we are fortunate to live here. And so, after long deliberation, we have decided to become a vineyard and a winery. John and I do best as a team, and we know and love our land. We calculate that with much hard work and considerable effort, we can offer a very good DEJON Wine.
It is our hope that our winery will be part of a welcoming respite on the wine trail in this area. John is most certainly the meticulous planner and astute businessman; in addition, he likes to farm and is intent on knowing and growing every vine that is planted on this property. He is knowledgeable and eager to share that with you, if so desired.
I, on the other hand, am the right brain to John’s left. That is what makes us a complete team. I can describe to you exactly how the purple on the grape smells in the late summer right before harvest, how it shimmers to black in a certain shade of light, and how the bunch of them hang wickedly low from the vine, daring you to pick them. I can give you more than one description of a sunset and wax eloquently on the kingly beauty of a giant sunflower as it reaches skyward .I can talk for hours about my exquisite granddaughter and the closeness of my wonderful family; but that doesn’t describe our winery, only us.
Our vineyard is in its infancy, our winery still not born. But they are real, and they are coming to you with the fullness of everything that we have to offer. Our barn will become the tasting room; we plan to make you as comfortable as possible. Our hay barn will become the wine processing building. Weather permitting; we will seat you outside in the most spacious of places as your eyes take in nature as a moveable feast. You will never be bored. And, you will be sipping a delectable wine of your choice, perhaps debating if now is the time to take the tour, or hike the wetlands, or have a picnic, or wander the vineyard, or perhaps ask me just how does purple smell on a grape? Maybe you will only want to appreciate the wine as it enters your mouth with the first shy taste, appreciating it as it roils across your palate, and savoring it as it slips down your throat in a long farewell .
As the season turns and the first chill nips at your heels, you will be welcomed warmly into the graciousness of our tasting room, and the warmth of our fire. Perhaps you will want to sit outside by the chimera, feeling comforted by the wine of your choice. There will be events to attend and wines to try and barrel tasting to come to.
We hope that you will want to visit DEJON Vineyards and the uniqueness that we will offer. We plan to do a good job. We are looking forward to our first wine and our first visitors and bottling the first Alexis Rose vintage. That would be our granddaughter’s name.
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