I think this is something that I have kept locked away in my head more often than not… except for a few close friends and family members. Very rarely do I talk about why I started this little project. How it all came to be comes up regularly but I’ve come to realize that very few of you probably know why I dove into winemaking in 2010 through today.
The usual “why” suspects revolve around the family business(es). From Conn Valley, Trespass, Ghost Horse and Eagles Trace it kind of makes sense. Literally all of my immediate family, save one at this point in time, is in the wine industry. Naturally folks assume that family is the reason however that isn’t the case. While it has been extremely helpful having a built in winemaking/wine business knowledge base my family has been much more of a resource rather than a direct influence.
So if sticking to the family biz isn’t the answer than what is?
I’ll tell you:
To provide a wine experience and connection that you can’t get anywhere else with wines that make you think.
One of the things that drives me to buy wine is knowing the people behind making that wine. With my extremely limited spending budget a personal relationship with the company I am buying from it is very important, to me, that I know who I am doing business with. The problem with many of the mid-size to large wineries and the traditional “cult” wines is that 9 time out of 10 you never meet the people behind them; at least it seems like it. The one time that happens in Napa is if you attend Premiere Napa Valley or Auction Napa Valley. To be fair both of them are really cool events if you are in the industry or not and you could basically meet every Napa cult-y personality you could ever want to.
My #1 goal with MTGA is that I personally know everyone I have sold wine to. Maybe I have met them face to face or talked over the phone as they have placed an order but I never want to have someone blindly purchase the wine and have no recourse to comment on it whether those comments are good OR bad. I love feedback, I love talking shop and getting to know the people (like yourself) that are taking the time to support MTGA is incredibly important to me. I try to keep the newsletters, blog and social networking posts rolling because I am trying to build a connection and give people insight into MTGA that they might not get from other wine producers.
Even over the last month or so I’ve popped into a couple of events that I was invited to where the person who invited me was surprised I even showed up. He simply stated, “I honestly though you were going to blow it off. I had no idea you’d actually take the time to stop by.” It meant so much to him that I took the time to do so. To be fair I was bribed with the promise of awesome wine and food but more importantly I didn’t want my intentions to be hollow.
One of the most refreshing experiences at any business, in my opinion, is meeting the people that are truly behind it. For large private and public companies that can be tough to do though there are those that give it a solid effort. As a small business I think it is a necessity and frankly it is what makes this gig an immense amount of fun.
With that I hope you continue to enjoy this ride along with me!