So, here’s the thing…if we had a dollar for every time these questions were asked, well, we’d have a few dollars. Just for fun, here are the top five:
So, where’d ya get your name? Well, that is a long story…edited here so we don’t bore you silly. On a lovely mid-June evening in 2016, we had dinner with friends. They suggested that we buy a vineyard and build a little winery. After the laughter died down, we talked about that possibility (there may have been wine involved). The morning after that dinner, over coffee, a conversation started, “So, here’s the thing…could we possibly make that work?” Eight weeks later, we had hired a consultant, made the offer on our vineyard and we were off to the races. So, here’s the thing…be careful who you’re drinking with. A follow-up question, “Are they still your friends?” Yes, they absolutely are!
How on Earth did you get into this? That’s an easy one…pure lunacy. Sometimes, it better not to know what you are getting yourself into and, funnily, we took very little time to consider what we were doing. We just sort of jumped in, got a few lucky breaks, and somehow got this winery open less than two years after our dinner with friends. Seriously, though, we owned two VQA stores which gave us considerable experience with BC wine, the people who grow it, make it and sell it. This background was the key to success…we knew where we wanted to set up shop, we knew what style of wine we wanted to create and we knew who to ask questions of. So many generous people (many of whom own their own wineries) answered our questions, gave us advice and offered their help and that continues to this day. We could not have done this without this valuable input from people who are now our colleagues.
Is this a dream come true for you guys? Absolutely not. We had no intention of being winery owners – we didn’t think it was even a remote possibility and, so, we didn’t even think to dream this dream. This is one of those cases where two people look at each other, hold hands and jump off a very tall cliff together. We knew that the ride would be wild but we hoped that with a considerable amount of hard work, the journey would be a thrill and the landing, if not exactly soft, would be liberating, educational and a whole lot of fun. Mission, and dream, accomplished.
Do you have any regrets? No, we are of the belief that regrets are pure hindsight and we prefer to look forward. We don’t even regret not doing this sooner (we are not as young as we once were) because “sooner” was not the right time. We did this when our personal and professional lives allowed us to. Admittedly, what we did, we did purely for ourselves, not even for our two children. We don’t regret any of our choices because they were just right for us and, as it turns out, our children went along with the plan and have come to enjoy our winery adventure as much as we do. We have the opposite of regret – happiness and satisfaction.
What is the most surprising thing you’ve experienced? Easy question – short answer, our community. We did not anticipate the co-operation we have encountered with our neighbours. Most of the south Okanagan wineries support each other by sending customers to each other. Visitors to our wineries always want to know “where to go next” and we all happily send them to each other. Not only do visitors get sent to us by other wineries, if we have a question or need some advice, all we need to do is pick up the phone. The acceptance and help we have experienced has been, hands down, the most surprising thing we have experienced and luckily, it was a great surprise!