10 lessons we've learned in the wine biz
LESSON #1 - In the wine business, location is everything
In BC, we need the optimal locations to get our grapes ripe, so all our vineyards are on the east side of Okanagan lake facing SW on a slope.
LESSON #2 - Working with your spouse can be a bit of a challenge
Divide & conquer is our best strategy so Cynthia is the vineyard manager and David is the winemaker.
LESSON #3 - Doing things differently
In this new world wine region, we can get away with being a little creative, both with our winemaking and our label design.
LESSON #4 - Ask for help from professionals when you need it
We were consultants in the investment industry and we are happy to ask other experts on farming or websites for their advice. But if you ask 10 farmers the same question, you will get 10 different answers!
LESSON #5 - Don't have control over everything
We may have control over what kind of corks we put in the bottle, but we sure don't have control what Mother Nature brings us... Our biggest risk factor.
LESSON #6 - Country living is different than city living
Deer, bears, cougars, rattlesnakes... you name it, we have it.
LESSON #7 - Sold out means sold out
We've learned with wine, it's easy to over sell if you rely on a spreadsheet. Seeing the cases with your own eyes is the only reliable inventory system.
LESSON #8 - It's not all about the #'s
A winery is a "lifestyle" business and a lot of hard work. Satisfaction comes from the process of making wine and enjoying it in your glass at the end of the day, not the bottom line.
LESSON #9 – Figure out your finances - Vow of poverty
Starting a winery is an expensive endeavor, and the bank will become your new best friend. David always jokes that it's his vow of poverty.
LESSON #10 – Make serious wine with a lighthearted attitude