Previous to Laughing Stock, both David and I led conservative, methodical, and calculated lives in the Financial Industry.
In 2003, we did the unfathomable; we followed our hearts, and bullishly invested everything into the wine industry. An emotional decision that our pinstriped peers thought was ... fiscally foolish, and financially unwise.
The Laughing Stock name may have unwittingly been conceived at this time. Heaven knows we heard the term over-and-over again from our colleagues on Bay Street, and Wall Street.
But this was a venture that had to be pursued, regardless of the dire financial forecasts. David often says, this is our 'vow of poverty'.
Prior to the acquisition, we made several research sojourns to vineyards and wineries across Europe and the United States. We met with the most talented winemakers, insightful viticulturists, and successful winery owners. We gained a wealth of knowledge from their collective wisdom.
David had already started as a true 'garagiste' winemaker in 2001 creating beautiful vintages of small batch, hand-crafted wines with fruit sourced from some of the best vineyards in Washington State. He augmented his knowledge with various courses and workshops at UC Davis in California. David then apprenticed under some of the best wine-makers in the Okanagan Valley.
As for me, my transformation from being an MBA "suit" to becoming "vineyard manager" has been highly gratifying. The satisfaction of watching the vines grow and grapes develop has been very grounding. Even though, at times, Mother Nature throws curve balls that are wilder than anything we've ever experienced in the Stock Market.
Ten years later, I'm forever watchful over volatile conditions, and David continues to savour wines in the garage. Some things never change.
David & Cynthia Enns