Previous to Laughing Stock, founders David and Cynthia Enns led conservative, methodical, and calculated lives in the Financial Industry.
In 2003, they did the unfathomable; they followed their hearts, and bullishly invested everything into the wine industry. An emotional decision that their pinstriped peers thought was ... fiscally foolish, and financially unwise.
The Laughing Stock name may have unwittingly been conceived at this time. Heaven knows they heard the term over-and-over again from their colleagues on Bay Street and Wall Street.
But this was a venture that had to be pursued, regardless of the dire financial forecasts. As David often said, "this is our 'vow of poverty'".
Prior to the acquisition, they made several research sojourns to vineyards and wineries across Europe and the United States. They met with the most talented winemakers, insightful viticulturists, and successful winery owners and 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 Cynthia, her transformation from being an MBA "suit" to becoming "vineyard manager" was highly gratifying. The satisfaction of watching the vines grow and grapes develop was very grounding. Even though, at times, Mother Nature throws curve balls that are wilder than anything one ever experienced in the Stock Market.
Well of a decade later, Cynthia is forever watchful over volatile conditions, and David continues to savour wines in the garage. Some things never change.