When I describe my allure with wine some are surprised that it has little to do with…. wine.
Don’t get me wrong living with my aunt during my first coop work terms at PwC did mandate an acquired taste. Over the years wine has become my drink of choice and I am content with a glass of wine, music and either amazing people or an amazing read. Those are my moments that I truly relax (sometimes wine is substituted with coffee or other though).
But my love of wine touring and my investment in the Okanagan is actually not about the beverage at all.
It is first and foremost the entrepreneurial spirit of wine that makes me want to experience the passion of the industry.
Second is the value chain and how the emphasis of each part differs by winery and even by lifecycle.
Having bought in the Okanagan over ten years ago and visiting even longer I’ve loved to see the evaluation.
I love the wineries that still have the mom & pop feel, the family dog that entertains my boys, the founder who tells his story…. I think this is what originally made me fall in love with the Okanagan and re-experiencing this has Oregon on the top of my bucket list.
But I’m a sucker for sophistication, for top-end restaurants and facilities that transport you into a new world and feel foreign with their upscale attributes.
I love to hear the farmer tell his story – of the vines and the weather and the fires and the impacts on the taste. I grew up as a (reluctant) farmer’s daughter and I spent some of my career focused on agriculture. I recognize nothing is as Canadian as farming and growing. Nothing is more western Canadian than the pride in the land.
I love to hear about the marketing, the branding, the naming, the labels. I took all of my marketing classes in undergrad but the allure of steady employment made me choose accounting as a specialty. I still love to learn about the creative side of business though & envy those that can make a go of it.
From farmer’s field to branded bottle is many other interesting parts of the business that can be felt and understood when you visit a wine room, see the vineyards, enjoy a terrace lunch and watch your sons play bocce ball or run the grassy landscapes. You can sense that motivated farmer and you can learn about the entrepreneurial dreams. That is a vibe that is hard to match.
During my pregnancies I enjoyed the visits as much without a single taste. Every single vacation destination on my bucket list is matched to the top ten wine countries of the world. My dent is slow – owning in the Okanagan, many trips to Nigeria, a trip to California and the upcoming chance of a lifetime to see Italy. There are many years & opportunities to see more & I have no doubt that each will differ and teach and excite in different ways.
Many other industries are as exciting. A quick long weekend trip to B.C. prompted me to capture the allure of entrepreneurial spirit in wine country & to wonder if others might have the same perspective?