Top 10 Traits of the Successful Family Winery

I just finished reading a report that predicts 50% of the family owned wineries will change hands in the next 10 years. At first, this seemed a bit shocking, but the more I thought about it, the more I agreed. Family businesses are tough. In fact, current statistics report that something like only 12% of family businesses survive through the second generation. That figure drops even more (to a paltry 3-5%) in the third and subsequent generations.

So, I've decided to put together Wilma's list of Top 10 Traits of the Successful Family Owned Winery - just in case any of you are considering joining the ranks!  Here goes:

1.      Learn to bite your tongue. In fact, get really comfortable with it, despite the pain.

2.      Find your own corner of the cellar. In other words, don't share areas of expertise or responsibility…especially if you're married and intend to stay that way.

3.      Whenever possible, make it seem like your brilliant idea was your father's, husband's, wife's, sister's, brother's, cousin's…you get the point.

4.      Learn to coerce, beg, borrow, steal…whatever it takes to get your point across.

5.      Know when to smile and roll your eyes at just the right time.

6.      Understand the real meaning of the numbers, i.e. lots of zeroes after your debt load is NOT good.

7.      Have very small families. The more siblings involved, the more likely for conflict. (My Italian friends know this all too well.)

8.      Put aside an emergency fund for all the counseling, therapy and consulting advice you'll need to keep harmony in the family.

9.      Perfect the art of apologizing.

10.  Drink a lot of wine.

Oh, and I forgot one more. Whenever possible, say “yes honey” and then do the exact opposite.

Here we are in 1981 practicing items #1, #5, and #7...still working on #2, #3, and #6!

| | Comments (2)


Mark Author Profile Page said:
February 22, 2008 1:40 PM

#10 and "Yes, honey!" are so on the mark in anyone's life.

Kim (aka Wilma) Author Profile Page said:
February 22, 2008 8:34 PM

Isn't that the truth! #1 comes in handy too but takes an awful lot of self discipline...
Trust me, I know!

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Kim published on February 22, 2008 10:39 AM.

The Zins are back! was the previous entry in this blog.

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