Friday, November 20, 2009

Returning from the Vineyard

Well, there is something incredible about having your family own a vineyard, winery and tasting room. Seriously cool.

Not just from a conversation standpoint, but making wine is amazing. The vitality of the product, the vibrance of wine aficionados, the sensual experience of drinking wine, the art and science of its production and the passion of those who create it. My father is an exceptionally creative man, with the mind of an entrepreneur, the soul of an artist and a heart of enduring love. His wines embody a dry farming, terroir of glacial marine soil, deep clay and hearty vines. The reason I share all of this is not for you to buy his wines (though you could be encouraged!), rather to appreciate the style of wresting a product out of essentially nothing. When I evaluate business, one of the things I look for is the level of vertical integration a business has. In Longview's case, from grapes to final wine bottle, nearly everything is done on the estate. This allows a level of quality control enviable by nearly any business. Dad checks on things every step of the way. This ensures he never has to compromise on his product. How many compromises do you make? What does it do to affect your customer relationships? Do they really get the level that you personally would stand behind? If not, maybe you need to bring more in house. At the end of the day, YOU are your own brand.

Oh, and feel free to go order wine! Go ahead and tell them I sent you!

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