Countdown to Pension: Winery Wins and Woes

March 2019 will mark a huge change in the life of Peter Marck. Join us on an intimate and personal quest through the tides with a passionate musician and IPO icon, and a dear friend.

For the first time and exclusively to IPO colleagues and followers, a musician of our Orchestra will share insights into the challenging but also liberating process he goes through – towards his final performance with the IPO.


Peter Marck 4

Winery Wins and Woes

 

August 2016

We have just completed our first harvest, and I’m 12,000 Km. awah playing concerts in Chile…bad timing. Two summers ago we cleared the weeds, put in posts for trellises, asked our cousins from Kibbutz Hazerim to plan our irrigation, hung the wires, purchased the plants and in the first week of August, planted 700 vines. This year they gave first fruit…hundreds of kilos of grapes!

We’re also completing the renovation of the house and the kitchen is now in and about to be connected to water and electricity. We’ve already made sketches of the winery/visitor center.

In short, if I wanted to slip out of my role as bass player, all is ready; the question is if I am ready?

What about selling my basses and bows? How will I do it, and how will I feel parting with such beautiful equipment?

 

Sliding down the slippery slope

When I spent a summer at the Vitkin Winery, my boss, Doron, warned me about the amateurs who start out making few hundred bottles of wine, selling half to a restaurant, then beginning the inevitable slide down the slippery slope of investing in making more and more wine. Often, it never gets sold! Well, we have now officially slipped on the slope: today we signed with the contractor to renovate the big chicken coop as a winery with 2 big verandas; only half a million shekels! We can always say we had a generous investor because Bat Sheva has put her inheritance into the project. Happily, this evening, I mentioned it to a Asaf in the IPO, and he immediately came up with the idea of a chamber music festival in the vineyard for second week of October: “Cameri-BeKerem.” Somehow that makes me feel better about sliding on the slippery slope.

 

Hitting the wall…

We had great plans for converting the chicken coop into a winery with two big verandas; a perfect venue for a chamber music festival. Our neighbors had other plans. Contractor Moshe was going “full steam ahead” when the building inspector showed up; now we’re stuck. As soon as we got rid of all the asbestos roofing, we were in trouble. You can’t do anything without a permit. We’ve had to back track bringing in a surveyor, making new plans, maps from the Jewish Agency, and permits, permits, permits! The last news is that to get a permit for a winery we need to plant another 7 dunam of vines…now that wasn’t in the plans. We’ll also have to take out a permit on the deck around the house. There were some lighter moments, like when we discovered that the plot of land is much bigger than we thought, or when the inspector said to me, “Do you have a file with us?” because it became apparent that someone already stole the existing file. In the meantime, we’ve gone ahead fixing up the sheds with water, electricity and new roofs, and I’ve gotten accustomed to the fact that this farm is a much bigger project than I thought.

 

-Peter Marck, Bass