Posted on November 1, 2018 in Reflections & Insights
Five years ago, we opened our doors in Woodinville and sold our first bottle of wine (below left). We were in the midst of harvest (our first harvest crew in our own cellar, below right), there was no art on the walls, and the finish on the tables and bar we’d built from our home’s old cedar deck boards was barely dry. It was an exciting time for us as a first-generation winemaking family, building a wine business from scratch. After two years of making wine in the back of another winery, we were thrilled to finally have have our own space and 400 cases in bottle to share with others.
On one hand, that day seems like just yesterday. We are still working hard, constantly stretching to make the best wine and provide the best experience we can for our customers – art on the walls or not. Yes, since that day, we have had the honor to share our wines with thousands of guests in that same tasting room, and now, in our Walla Walla tasting room, as well as at events across Washington State. And yet, we are still equally excited and genuinely awed by the opportunity to share our work – our wine – with each person we meet.
On the other hand, of course, it’s hard to believe it’s only been 5 years. We’ve had so many experiences – pouring wine at fine events, meeting so many interesting people, working late (all nighters!) making wine, planning events, increasing our production to the point that we were out of space, buying a farm, opening a second tasting room… the list goes on. And of course, our preschoolers are now approaching middle school (and yet somehow, Tim and I haven’t aged! haha.) These five years have taught us so much about what it takes to succeed. About hard work, about diligence, about consistent attention to quality, and about constantly striving to do better.
These first five years have been more challenging than we could have imageined, for sure, but also more rewarding. Five years is a long time in many respects. In the wine industry, where the investment of time and resources comes years before the product is even ready to be introduced to the world, five years feels like a very long time. And yet at the same time, because this business cycle takes so long, in reality, we’ve really only just begun. We have worked hard to partner with excellent vineyards, invest in top-of-the line equipment and barrels, and use low-intervention processes that we think bring out the very best in the grapes. This work takes a lot of time, care, investment, and patience. However, we want each and every bottle to deliver an exceptional experience for you, and that is what makes this work so worth it.
We are grateful for the support and friendship of so many over these years. It is your enthusiasm for our wines that inspires and drives us forward. We thank our team members for their tireless work and dedication, the many others who have helped us in any number of ways, and most importantly, our customers and members. Without you, we could not do what we do.
There is a lot of work left for us to do. But as we grow beyond our infancy as a winery business, we are committed to always improving in terms of quality of wine and guest experience, while preserving (and, in fact, improving!) the personal service, opportunities for exceptional experiences, and level of connection. We look forward to growing our Wine Club, which is the heart and soul of our business, and improving the quality of the experience for members. And, while we aim to stay boutique and personal, we look forward to sharing our story and our wines with new wine-loving friends in Washington and beyond.
For those of you who have been with us from the beginning, thank you. We are so grateful for your continued support. And for those who have joined us along the way, thank you, too! We are so glad to have you along for this exciting ride.
Below are some pictures, many of which were taken by our friend Bob Clancy (Bob Clancy Photography), of our recent 5-year Anniversary and Club Release Party in Woodinville. This is just the start of our 5-year celebration. Look for more about additional events and opportunities coming soon! Cheers, friends. Here’s to the next five!