Friday, May 25, 2012

Ozzie & The Squirrel

Our tasting room lab, Ozzie, got his first squirrel this morning (shudder). The poor thing was already on the edge, hence the fact that he was able to catch it. Now I'm totally and utterly grossed out, probably for the remainder of the day. Good thing I have a hubby who is willing to make it go away after I leave. (Love you babe!)

Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Realities of Self-Employment

We hear from a number of friends how they would love to have a little business like ours, be self-employed, have no one to answer to but themselves and to be able to do things they way they like. And, I admit, it is nice to make your own schedule and decisions when it comes to your own products. And, working with the family is almost always a pleasure. But I also have to admit that there are days like the last few, where you're so tired it's hard to get out of bed and, even on your days off, you're still working "just a few hours."

Everyone knows what I call "the realities of self-employment." Things like:
- When you make a mistake, it's only your own, and there's no one else to blame it on.
- You work hard. VERY hard.
- You sometimes (or often) go without paychecks.
- The insecurity and risk involved can be stressful.
... and so on.

I admit, they're all true. Every single one of them. Plus, I'd add a few of my own:
- You have to be a jack of all trades, even if you're not really the most qualified person for that particular trade.
- You will make some kind of a mistake that will affect your business in some way.
- You will have days when, even though you love what you do, you won't want to go to work.
- You will begin to lust after a "typical" work week, but forget exactly what that means.

I won't lie and deny that 99% of the time I'm extremely happy with my life. I love our business, which is doing well and growing. But I also have to admit that one of the most important things I've learned is that you need to take a step back and allow yourself some time off and away. When you work so hard every day at something, you don't always realize that you're too close to it, or that your performance/productivity could be better.

My husband and I recently made a decision to try and purchase a little condo in the Lake Tahoe area (looks like we're succeeding, but more on that later). We live on the same property as the vineyard and winery, so we've found that, the only way we truly take time off, is by leaving (we half-jokingly call it the compound for the number of hours we can spend here without ever stepping foot across the driveway). I always worry about the things left undone when we leave, but when we return I feel recharged and ready to tackle everything with renewed energy.

Time away, perseverance, and being genuine about everything you do are the three most important lessons I've learned about running your own business. Hopefully that helps a few hopeful entrepreneurs out there. :)

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

2012 AV Pinot Festival Open House & Club Party

The Anderson Valley Pinot Noir Festival is one of our biggest weekends of the year. Besides the fact that I chaired the festival and organized all the press visits and tastings, Foursight hosts a big open house and wine club party on the Sunday of the event each year. It makes for four days of crazy business, but in a great way.

This year we decided to splurge and order fresh oysters and an entire leg of prosciutto to serve everyone at our open house. We poured our new, 2011 Vin Gris of Pinot Noir and 2010 Clone 05 Pinot Noir, alongside our current releases (and a vertical of Pinot Noirs).

Many of our regular club members, friends and family attended; we always love seeing them. Helping us was cousin Becca, uncles Tom & Scott, brothers Tim & Matt, and friends Jimmy, Linda & Erik. A BIG thanks to them for their help.

Ozzie the winery dog spent the entire day trolling for prosciutto scraps, then laying in the sun. He was a very happy dog.

Here are some images from our open house on Sunday. If you missed it this year, then don't next year! And come early. The oysters ran out pretty quickly.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Surprise Birthday Party!

Last night we managed to throw a surprise party for the parents' birthdays. A really fun evening. Happy birthday mom & dad and happy mother's day!

A few pics from the iphone:

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Festival Season Begins Again!

Today's the Boonville Beer Fest, next weekend is the Anderson Valley Pinot Noir Festival, and in a month we have the Sierra Nevada World Music Festival, followed by the Mendocino County Fair. Let's hope I survive them all again this year and we have another summer of vomit-free bathrooms (long story...)! Wish me luck.