Sometimes I wonder why we stay in this industry. Is it for the love of producing a great product that we thoroughly enjoy? Is it the thrill of creating something delicious and satisfying that enhances the dining experience? Or is it the sheer challenge of building something that has the power to endure long after we're gone. I honestly don't know. All I can say is it gets in your blood. Especially when you've grown up with it. But there are days when the pressure, the responsibility and the sheer amount of work involved in growing, producing, managing, and marketing wines today can be daunting. And, after a week from hell I begin to question things.
Last night I was driving down Dry Creek Road on one of those rare summer evenings. It was warm and sultry and perfect for an open sunroof. Better yet, I was alone and not late for some appointment, meeting or commitment. And, the cell phone was silent. Trust me, this just doesn't happen much any more. I realized how simple it used to be around here. We ran a winery, did our work and went home to relax or be with our families. We didn't play phone tag. We didn't have computers, just a lowly fax that resided in the reception area. Every now and again we'd have a business dinner or go on the occasional sales trip. We visited with friends and neighbors and swap wine stories, harvest info, and tips on how to get distribution in some new faraway place, like New Jersey. This was long before the dozens upon dozens upon dozens of new wineries opened their doors all around us. Long before the plethora of producers emerged from all corners of the globe. Long before wine buyers became impossible to impress. Long before wine writers and magazines became so powerful that they could make or break a brand. Long before the pressure to continually entertain and provide hospitality to complete strangers became the norm. And, long before the frenetic pace of life we keep these days. It dawned on me that the very product that we promote as being part of the good life, is also keeping me from enjoying mine a good part of the time. So, I've made a vow. I'm going to sit on my porch more often. I'm going to read just for the sake of reading, not to catch up on industry news, or respond to yet another email. And, I'm going to stop worrying about the future. I need to enjoy what's here now. Soak it up. Really see it for what it is. Simply slow down long enough to just be, instead of always being in the act of doing something.
'Cause as they say, we've come a long way baby.
This is a blog about what it's really like to be in the wine industry...so sit back, take a sip and enjoy!
A Lifetime in Wine
Top 10 Traits of the Successful Family Winery
The Dreaded Family Meeting
Board Meeting Jitters
Is the Future of the Winery in Danger?
The Case of the Overweight Bottle
Wine and Dementia
Wanted: Talented (Normal) Individual for Family Owned Winery
A Sea of Wine
The Heroes of Our Industry