As I look back over the course of this remarkable journey of Passaggio Wines, I am amazed at the number of people who have been involved in the making of an awesome wine company. What a journey! Starting in 2007, with just fifty cases of Unoaked Chardonnay, has grown to over 1100 cases in 2015.
I want to give a shout out to all those who have lifted me up in hard times, lent a helping hand when I needed it, listened to me vent and sigh from time to time, and encouraged me. I could not have done this without all of you.
We have done it! We have grown Passaggio Wines into what it is today. We now have our own production facility. Today, we continue that journey with the first fruit being brought in to the new winery. The 2016 Harvest starts off with Pinot Grigio from Sonoma Coast.
So...it is with heartfelt gratitude that I thank you. You have helped make my dream come true.
Happy Harvest 2016!!
Harvest is upon us. I have tucked the 2015 barrels away and got started on cleaning everthing (with the help of my good friend, Linda Yee)
Having my own space has been freeing and exhilarating. And at the same time, exhausting. I can't wait to bring in the 2016 harvest to the Passaggio Winery! What fun this is going to be...
Stay tuned for more!! Hang on to your hats...this is going to be a great ride!!
It all starts with a dream and a belief that you can achieve whatever it is you have set out to do. When I first launched Passaggio Wines in 2007, I had no idea that I would one day have my own winery. Sometimes when you are following your dream, other things come your way as you are on your journey.
I met Steve Law, owner and winemaker of MacLaren Wines, when I moved into the Passaggio Tasting room two years ago. We became great friends and share a common theme. Wine Making. We both have that same passion. We are wine geeks to say the least.
Steve and I decided late last year to join our resources and build our own production facility. We both knew this would be a rough ride but we persevered and now the time has come. We will be in the winery for harvest 2016.
I am delighted and excited to start this new adventure with my friend. This new chapter starts now....stay tuned for more of our journey!
Summer is finally here. The garden is growing and the deck is ready for comany. The evenings are beautiful and the days are longer. I love Sonoma. The community is generous, caring, and just simple. Living the simple life is what I strive for. There's nothing like meeting your friends at the Sonoma Farmer's market every Tuesday evening. Listening to the band play, sitting on a blanket, sipping a great glass of wine. Relax. Have fun. Contemplate.
I participated in the launch of #winestudio Sonoma Rosé Revolution. It's a Twitter chat, every Tuesday evening, from 6-7pst in June. Talking with a community of wine lovers across the country can be amazingly engaging, and fun. They launched this past Tuesday with my 2015 Passaggio Merlot Rosé. What fun! But yet informative. Rosé, not always taken seriously, should be. This wine can be fun and serious at the same time. I believe it is a very versatile wine. Pairs with all sorts of food or just simply sipping on your deck with friends.
Start your summer off this year with some Rosé. Whichever rosé you choose, look at it from s different perspective. The winemaker took special care to make it. Enjoy it. Embrace it.
Is it worth it to ask all of you to comment on “do you find or look for handcrafted, small lot wines?” It is worth it to me!!!
I jumped into the wine industry with a passion. Doesn’t everyone? Wine can be such a luring, compelling, sexy, passionate drink. There are so many wines out there to try. Who isn’t on the hunt for great wines at a great price these days? Who doesn’t like finding those small gems that are tucked away in the crevices of the Wine Industry?
I am on the hunt for you…people who are passionate about wine. I am looking for people who believe in finding special wine that is unique and often not heard of…wine that is made with passion…wine that brings life to your table, and wine you enjoy sharing with your friends and family. I am on the hunt for those who want to be part of something special.
Yes…I am on the hunt for you!!!
I want to share my passion with you.
Why do other bloggers write about Following Your Passion as "crappy advice?" If you Google "Follow Your Passion" you will find many articles on why it's the wrong thing to do or why it's crappy advice. Maybe we are missing the whole point. There are two articles I found that I would like to comment on.
Article #1 - the minimalist
In one of the questions in this article they talk about Steve Jobs and a speech Steve made at his Stanford Commencement address. He told students (paraphrasing) "You’ve got to find what you love, don’t settle." The writer goes on to say that if you go back and read the social media and press that surrounded that event people took him to say "follow your passion" The writer also says if you read Steve's biography it is not what he did. His passion at the time was eastern mysticism and that he stumbled into Apple computer to try and make a quick buck. I did find more of Steve Jobs quote during this speech which was not in this article. He also said "the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking."
Article #2 - dilbert.com the scott adams blog
This writer of this article clearly does not get what following your passion is all about. He says "...Passion sounds more accessible. If you're dumb, there is not much you can do about it, but passion is something we think anyone can generate in the right circumstances. Passion feels very democratic. It is the people's talent, available to all. It's also mostly bullshit. Consider two entrepreneurs. Everything else being equal, one is passionate and possess average talent, while the other is exceedingly brilliant, full of energy, and highly determined to succeed. Which one do you bet on?" This writer gives us an example of when he was a loan officer. His boss taught him that it was not good practice to loan money to someone who was following their passion. The example he gave was "you don't give money to a sports enthusiast who wants to open a sports store to pursue his passion for all things sporty. That guy is a bad bet, passion and all. He's in business for the wrong reason."
First of all how do we define success in our lives? What do you consider successful? Are you successful? How do you define passion? What do you consider passion? What are you passionate about? Do you follow your passion? Do success and passion go together?
Success - I believe success is a personal achievement. It's something that we make ourselves. It is about the lives we touch every day in our own communities. It is about respect. It is about love. It is a personal journey.
Passion - I believe passion is inside each of us. It's an intense emotion that keeps us moving forward. Our passions are what drive us. Whether the passion is something we do as a hobby or something we do as a career...it drives us. Whether the passion is something we use to help others or we use to further ourselves...it drives us.
How do we define the mother who wants to stay home and raise her children? Success or failure? Can we put a monetary value on her choice? Can she pursue other passions and still be a stay at home mom? Of course she can. Can you be successful in your career like Steve Jobs and still pursue other passions? Of course you can.
Sometimes, like Steve Jobs, what we call successful careers are handed to us while we are pursuing other passions. Does that mean we are not following our passion? Do we consider "following our passion" a scale for career? I hope not. We can be "successful" in our careers, enjoy our jobs, and make a good living. Our passion do not have to dictate or define what we do for a living or where we work. We cultivate the passion in our lives each and every day. Life is about the never ending pursuit of happiness. We learn and grow. I believe Steve Jobs was right in his quote " ...if you haven't found it yet, keep looking."
The person who walk into a bank to ask for a loan because he or she wants to start a business based on "following their passion" should be given the same opportunity as that person who walks into the bank to get a car loan. The main reason you give that person a loan is because they have the means to pay it back. Their business plan is one that is well thought out and one that can be proven on paper. It's the passion that drives that person to make it work. Just because a person may fail at their business does not mean they were a risk because they were following their passion.
We must not put passion and success in a nice square box with a bow on top. We all define them differently. We all reach our life's goals differently. We all touch others lives differently. We all succeed differently.
Our lives change and so do we...
These are some of my thoughts on the Habits of Highly Effective Winemakers – I would love to hear some of yours!!
1) Keep a notebook – write it down: these days, when you say notebook, you could be talking about a couple of things. A notebook to me is the one with paper in it. A notebook to someone quite younger may be a Mac Pro or even your Iphone. Either one is great for keeping notes. You may think you’ll remember something, but in my experience, I always forgot what I wanted so much to remember.
2) Taste, Taste, Taste – yeah, I know it’s a great job…but someone has to do it…LOL Tasting the juice all the way from fermentation through aging is a must. (no pun intended) So don’t be surprised when the winemaker comes to your house and asks for a beer…
3) Stay up on new research, new technology, and new equipment – Things change every day. Modern technology is changing very quickly and we need to keep up with it. We should never be afraid to try new things.
4) Never be afraid to ask – we don't know it all.
5) Source great fruit – in all starts in the vineyard.
6) Stay focused – enough said about that ;-)
7) Have fun – I have always said that if the winemaker is not happy, they will not produce good wine…
I started the "Follow Your Passion" Facebook group as an opportunity to help others in their quest of following their passions, those going through the evolutions of career change or those who have hit discouraging moments and are in need of uplifting encouragement and advice. This group is all about helping…we aren’t saying that everyone has to quit their jobs to follow their passions; we are simply saying “Follow Your Passion. More about that later. If you haven't joined the "Follow Your Passion" Facebook group and you would like to, just send a request to the page and I'll add you.
I asked the Facebook group,"What are the top essential habits of highly passionate people?" These are the answers we received...I love them all. I took the twelve answers and put what I believe is their meaning. Take a look...
1) Patience - hone in on passion with patience. Be intentional in waiting for those moments when you can honestly say this is my passion. Do not let it be mistaken for a wild fling. Be ready by giving that passion time to develop. Without patience we would not make the right decisions. Important: Patience does not mean "putting it off until tomorrow." Realize when it’s time and get started!
2) Persistence- sometimes we don't realize how close we are to success! We must realize what motivates us and use it to our advantage. I love the old saying by Franklin Roosevelt - "When you have come to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on." There will be times when you feel as if you don’t have the strength to go on. That's when it's time to take a break. Tie that knot, hang on and rest for a minute. Then get back at it!!!
3) Dedication - staying the course. Being diligent to your cause. It requires commitment and perseverance. Just remember to stop and smell the roses once in a while.
4) Optimism - this makes me think of the saying "Is the glass half full or half empty?" Having a positive attitude gives us greater joy on a day-to-day basis. Hanging out with positive people makes for a better optimistic view of what's going on around you.
5) Open-minded - being receptive to new ways or new ideas. Flexible. Willing to change.
6) Leave the naysayers behind - these people will always be around us. Finding those who will counter balance them is the key. The naysayers are some of the most important people in your life so the best thing is to just let them be. Find people whom you can connect with and talk to about your dreams and aspirations. Find people who will encourage you along the way.
7) Stay focused on the goal - Life has a way of adding distractions along the way. We must first determine our goal and use our time wisely to achieve it.
8) Consistency - we all need structure, focus, and experience. Being consistent helps build your technique, your form and your skills. Sometimes we must consistently refocus our minds and keep on the task at hand. This allows us to keep from getting distracted. It's a lot easier to be consistent with the things we love...
9) Belief in oneself - never give up. Never forget you have it within you to succeed. Your self-confidence stems from the belief of who you think you are, who you want to become, and what you believe in.
10) Be Amazing - you are amazing. You are an inspiration to others. Be authentic. An amazing person will make a difference in other people's lives.
11) Supportive friends - share your passion with like-minded, positive and supportive people. I like to call this my supportive community.
12) Wine - my belief in awesome wine is that it brings something magical to the table when you share it with Wonderful friends and Great food...
Harvest 2015 was a fast and furious one to say the least. The fruit looked great...just low in yields. I am excited about this vintage. I believe you will see some beautiful wines coming in the near future. Passaggio will be releasing some new varietals in the spring of 2016. a new white wine you will see is Chenin Blanc.
Chenin blanc is a white wine variety from the Loire Valley of France. I have always said the I thought the Chardonnay grape was the most versatile grape known, but Jancis Robinson has noted that Chenin Blanc is probably the world's most versatile grape. It can be made in various ways from dry to sweet wine, to include dessert wine, and is used in sparkling wine as well. It can be made into a stand alone varitey or be used for blending.
Descriptors for Chenin blanc range from minerality, a green plum called Greengage, angelica, honey, peaches, barley, marzipan, and quince. Wow, what a range of descriptors. I am excited for this varietal to be part of the Passaggio line.
That's all for now. Stay tuned for more exciting varietals being released Spring 2016.