Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A Busman's Holiday

So we are getting amped up for a trip to Missouri this weekend, we’re going to hit as many wineries as we can in two days along the Missouri River. I was asked recently why we enjoyed visiting other wineries while on vacation from our winery.

I think this goes back to one of the key points in owning a winery. I have met people who thought owning a winery was “cool” (Sure); I have met people who think there is good money in the winery business (Wrong); I have met people who want to be their own boss (Reasonable); and I have met people who thought it would be an easy business to run (Crazy).

Finding work that speaks to a passion you hold in your heart has to be a dream for many and a goal for some. For many of us who own wineries we do this because we love it, we love the wine business, we love wine. When you can make a living off your passion, life is good.

But for us, we have not reached that goal; we cannot yet live off the winery financially. Every year is better then the year before and we have met our financial goals set five or more years ago. When we started thinking about a winery, it was a dream. As it approached reality, we were able to see our plan was reasonable and measurable. We hit our first year sales goal and five out of six years we have exceeded our expectations, following that plan. We have adjusted the plan, adapted our methods, and moved forward. The light at the end of the proverbial tunnel has gone from dim to quite bright. The business is a passion for us.

But when we think about vacation, we always ask, “What wineries can we visit?” because wine is truly a passion for us, not just the business, but enjoying wine itself. When we go to Missouri, we search out the outstanding wines, those that make us smile. We want not just the average, but the outstanding.

Last year we were surprised to find a Dry Vignoles from Montelle Winery was the best wine we tried and we came home with a case. Strangely, we would have not even tried it had not an employee at another winery pointed it out to us. She said it was a fabulous wine and well worth the drive out-of-the-way to visit the winery and try it. She was right and we all loved it.

A great side benefit from our taking several winery tours each year is we can give visitors to our winery advice on where to go for weekends and vacations to find the style of wines they might prefer. In a future post, I will give a sketch of what we have found in our travels: Where to find the best sweet, off-dry, dry white, dry red, and just about every kind of wines you might want.

LOVERS OF KOKOMO CIDER: Keep in mind we only have 200 gallons (1000 bottles) this year of our popular sweet apple wine. The locally poor 2008 apple harvest kept us from getting as much of this wine as we usually get, so if you are planning on serving this delightful wine as a hot-spice holiday treat, come in and get you supply soon!

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