“Keeping it real.”
The “keeping it real” philosophy that we embrace extends to our daily business lives and the relationships that we build and maintain. In the Napa Valley, it goes something like this; many wineries have standard grape purchase contracts that are filled with small print, “out clauses,” and lots of grief. When we purchase grapes, we call a local friend who owns a great vineyard. There is a short conversation which is followed by a walk in the same vineyard. We talk about the wine we are going to make and we agree on farming practices. This type of commitment is good for all of us since we prosper from making delicious wines and the vineyard owner their employees prosper with a healthy vineyard. We end the walk with a handshake agreement.
This is the first of many walks that will occur between our agreement and the harvest. These walks teach us about the vineyard and give us time work with each vineyard owner to improve the health of the vines, the soil and the land. The growth and strengthening of these vineyards and the relationships that mature with them are based on trust and communication. When challenges arise, we solve them together and learn from our shared experiences. This type of work isn’t always easy, but it is definitely worthwhile. It is what we do to make great wines. The best wines are like the people that we enjoy; they’re not perfect, but they are full of character.