The Winemaker's Blog

Understanding Vines

Adam Cawrse - Thursday, April 04, 2013

 Hello everyone!

 We're often asked how much of our wine is produced from our own vines.  Until this year (our 4th year of operation), we've always had to say, "None."  We know, it's odd.  Our name is Paper Moon Vineyards and the vineyards are clearly visible from our porch.  However, like we were told so many times before we opened, fine wine takes time.  Grapevines do as well.  The first three years of vine growth is kind of like raising a child.  You prepare a nice spot to plant them, try to protect them from the cruel world (deer, insects, disease, sun damage, lack of water, too much water, etc), and give them nutrients to help them grow.  Much like a child wants to do everything his parents do before he's actually ready, a grapevine will try to grow fruit even though it's not ready.  Every spring, we have to be the mean parents and say, "NO!  You cannot grow grapes yet!"  We cut off the potential clusters and let them fall on the ground.  If allowed to produce fruit, the vine would use most of its energy in the grapes, rather than developing a solid root system or thickening it's trunk.  Alas, in their 4th year (typically), the vines have grown deep in the dirt, grown up 6 feet to our trellis wire, and show the maturity to produce fruit.  It was a proud day when we finally said, "Spread your wings!  Fly!  Grow grapes!"  Okay, we didn't actually say that, but we can tell you a portion of our production is now produced from our estate.  As the vines continue to develop, they'll produce a larger percentage of our production.  We're also happy to announce that Chambourcin from our own vines won something REALLY cool!  Read on to find out more.

God Bless,

Adam Cawrse

First harvest

Adam Cawrse - Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Based on the recommendations of the ag department at Ohio State and the scriptures (Leviticus 19:23), we have allowed our vines to spend all their energy on growing.  This is the year to harvest our "firstfruits".  Despite early budding, two frosts, a hard freeze and some nasty bugs, we actually have a few grapes on the vine at Paper Moon.

Last Tuesday a crew of eight fine folks came out to help us pick our one acre of Vidal Blanc.  When we quit at lunch time, we had about 1 ton of grapes.  In a typical year that same acre should yield about 4 ton.  As the farmer says, "Maybe next year?"

We crushed and pressed what we had picked.  By the end of the day we had around150 gallons of juice.  If you are thinking that's not very much juice, you are right.  I guess that answers the question about the price of wine, huh?

We have about an acre of Traminette still to be picked, just waiting for it to finish sweetening up.  There's a little bit of Chambourcin out there, too.  The Noiret and Marquette didn't fair so well.

So many people have asked and expressed concern about our grape harvest. Thank you for caring. 



Baby Grapes 2012

Adam Cawrse - Thursday, June 14, 2012

Since so many of you have inquired about our 2012 crop, we thought we better give you an update.  This year is to be our first harvest and even though we had survived an early spring and a couple of heavy frosts we thought we were going to make it.  Then, late April brought a hard freeze in the wee hours of a Sunday morning and it looked as if this season's grapes were all gone.

The freeze did not kill the vines but only the baby grapes that were just beginning to bud.  Some folks mistakenly thought we could then make ice wine?  No, ice wine is made from grapes that are left on the vine until the first freeze in late fall.  First, we need grapes, when the baby buds freeze then there are no grapes. 

Now, in the last two weeks, we have seen some secondary growth coming on and the prospect for a harvest has changed once again.  There are new baby grapes on about 50% of our vines.  Of course, now we must see these babies through the summer's weather, bugs and other maladies such as mold, fungus and rot!  But, hopefully, we may actually have a small crop from our own vines this fall. 

Thank you so much for all your thoughts and concerns. 

Silver Lining Dry Riesling ALMOST READY

Adam Cawrse - Friday, February 10, 2012

We'll be bottling our new dry Riesling, Silver Lining, in about a week.  It will be released immediately.  I'm really excited about this one and hope you enjoy it.  It was made from select, hand-sorted grapes from the Lake Erie region.  I'll post on bottling day with a picture (you'll love the bottles we're using)! :-D


It's festival time

Adam Cawrse - Tuesday, June 14, 2011


We were just looking over the calendar and work schedule and realized, woo-hoo!!  It’s festival time!  Next week-end, things really start rolling as we’ll be at Huron’s “Taste of Wine & Roses” and Findlay’s “Riverside Wine Festival”, simultaneously, we’ll be pouring all week-end at Lorain’s “International Festival”.

The season started at “Wolf Creek Grist Mill” in Loudonville last week-end and will culminate with our first ever appearance at “Vintage Ohio” in August.

We are so fortunate to have friends and relatives who are willing to help us during this busy season.  We absolutely could not do it without them.  They are willing to use their free/vacation time to stand and stand and stand and stand (festivals involve a lot of standing) and be friendly ambassadors of our winery.  They never mind all the preparations required just to get to the festival, the unpredictable weather, running for ice, the set up, the clean up, etc.  Of course, there are some perks: wine, food, music, and bunches of great people.

We'd love to see you there!


Adam Cawrse - Wednesday, April 06, 2011

When, oh, when will spring truly be in the air?  In spite of the weather, we are making plans for warmer days that are surely on the horizon.

At home, we moved some junk out of the garage the other day and looked at the motorcycles.  We called the marina and told them to go ahead and paint the bottom of our boat.  We bought fertilizer for the yard.  We evaluated the trim on our house and decided we definitely need a little painting done.  The little crocus flowers are hiding under wet leaves but it’s too cold to clear the leaves.  We just need some warmer days, agreed?

In the winery, we have been bottling Harvest Blend, Chambourcin and Fredonia.  We have scheduled chicken barbeques and steak fries.  We are lining up musicians for the outdoor venue.  We are making plans to provide more shade areas in the grassy courtyard.  Also, we have already made commitments for several wine festivals this summer.

We will be at VINTAGE OHIO in August.

We will be on the winery tour for OHIO BIKE WEEK. 

Our LAKE ERIE SHORES & ISLANDS WINE TRAIL is hosting trail events in May and June/July.

Before the busy season hits, Dick and I will hit the Appalachian Trail one more time, backpacking through Virginia. 

So we are ready.  Bring on the SPRING!!



Sheryl, the winemaker’s mom


Grape and Wine Conference

Adam Cawrse - Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Greetings all!!  Dick and I are just back from the 2011 Ohio Grape and Wine Conference, two days of intense workshops related to growing grapes and making good wine.  It seems the more we know, the less we know.  The thing about the wine industry is everybody is eager to help his neighbor to do a good job.  Unlike many other industries, we share our secrets.  The other great thing about this industry is that it involves tasting wine!  For the past two days we got to enjoy wines from some of the finest winemakers in Ohio.

We also got to enjoy some fellowship with winery friends from across the state and especially friends from our own LAKE ERIE SHORES AND ISLANDS TRAIL.  Our trail now has 14 wineries and a couple of new ones are in the works.  Keep an eye out for some really fun stuff that we're planning for our trail for this spring and summer.

Dick will attend a pruning workshop the end of March and before you know it, we'll be back out in the vineyard.  I predict that we are just about 30 days away from green grass.  Until then, we'll just have to enjoy our sunshine in a bottle!


Sheryl, the winemaker's mom

Gorgeous Weather

Adam Cawrse - Friday, February 18, 2011

WOW!  The weather in Ohio is unexplainable.  We're really enjoying this 50+ degree day and we're happy to see so many people come out of hibernation. :-)  I know it's not over yet, but winter seemed to go by really fast...  I guess that's what chasing a 2 year old around does to you!  We're coming up on our two-year anniversary at Paper Moon Vineyards.  We've been having a great time and we are so thankful to all of you for making this experience so enjoyable.  Many new friendships have been made and hopefully so many fun memories for all of you! 

My wife gave birth to our first son on the second Saturday we were open in 2009.  We're in the same position now (though a bit less stressed).  The due date is the same and we'll be having another boy!  I'll be sure to share a pic when little Samuel arrives.

We have a couple fun events coming up in March, so check out our all new calendar.  See ya soon!

God Bless,


Christmas memories

Adam Cawrse - Saturday, December 18, 2010

One of my favorite memories is going to grandma's house on Christmas Eve.  If there was snow then the night was perfect.  I can't remember any specific food item but I do recall that Grandma was a good cook.  For Christmas Eve she always had a "relish plate", we never had that any other time.  She had a special platter that came out just for the pickles and olives and another special platter that came out for the Christmas cookies.

There were six of us kids and Grandma would have a present for each of us.  After the gifts then the kids got to watch a special on TV while the adults might play a little euchre.  Candle light service at church then home to wait for Santa.

When I was a kid our house had a coal furnace, so, by the time we got home from Grandma's and church, our house was darn cold.  Dad would go down to stoke up the few hot coals that were left in the furnace but it would take awhile for the house to get warm again.  The cold was good enough reason for us kids to scurry off to our beds to try to get warm.  

Only gravity heated the upstairs of the house so the bedroom windows were quite frosty.  Last thing before we closed our eyes was to breathe on the windows and scratch out a peep hole so we could look for Santa flying across the sky.  Once one of us confirmed that we had surely seen him, then we could close our peepers and wait until morning.

We got toys, but, like Grandma's food, I don't particularly remember any specific gifts or toys.  My parents had to work hard for what we got.  There was always an orange in the toe of a stocking.  There were socks and underwear and new pajamas.  They loved us and provided well for us.

Our parents loved us.  Grandma loved us.  Special food platters and time together and warm houses and new socks were demonstrations of love.  Simple, but, lovely love.

So raise a glass to toast the memories and may your Christmas be blessed with much love. 


Sheryl, the winemaker's mom



Christmas Open House

Adam Cawrse - Saturday, December 04, 2010

Thanks to everyone who came out to our Christmas open house today!  We had a great time and think you did too.  In case you missed it, we had five food/wine pairing stations set-up in our wine production room.  For $10, you could work your way around the five stations and enjoy Paper Moon wines with tasty plates.  We had several artisan cheeses, chocolates, fig cakes, black olive spreads, and more.  Keep your eyes open to our newsletter and Facebook page for more events like this.  

Next week is our Second Saturday Supper, so be sure to check out the details at  If I don't get a chance to blog again this month, have a Merry Christmas & happy new year!

God Bless,