Best of 2020

Monday December 28, 2020 

Best of 2020 

It’s hard to think about, these past 12 months took us all on a wild emotional rollercoaster. The highs felt like flying over the tops of a redwood forest. The lows, well the grief of the year coupled with a dark red sky and ash falling dropped us to our knees. The political environment, the pandemic, the covid-rules, the wildfires (again), we are happy to see the end of 2020! However, we were driven by believing there will be a light at this end of all this. 2020 came with no roadmap just hustle for Smith Story Wine Cellars. 

2020 was set up to be our very best year. January we moved full-time to live in the Anderson Valley, received a spot in the “52 Wineries You Must Visit in 2020” from the San Francisco Chronicle and had the best Q1 of our young winery life! Blammo, shelter in place hit by April 1 and we then had to close our doors to the public. "Let’s not freak out babe, we are built for this!”. Who remembers the first few Smith Story Saturday Night Live tastings? Insert eyeroll here, oh we gave it a go. Ha! 

What we didn’t do...we didn’t pull the covers over our head, we didn't get comfortable. We got to work. Spring wine releases and Bay Area porch deliveries took over as we battled great anxiety and fear of what the pandemic meant for our small winery and the hospitality industry that is/was a bloodline for Smith Story. May was the 7th Anniversary for Smith Story (our 8th Wedding Anniversary too). Celebrations were replaced by a few bumps in the road from disloyal business partners, but we kept our heads down and integrity up. June was such an emotional month standing for Black Lives Matter. 2020 continued to teach us. 

July brought another round of accolades from the press, we’ve been in print every month this year! We were also allowed to open our doors and received a permit to use the patio located steps from our front door here in Philo. Our sales teams across the nation got back to work in July while restaurants began to open again. WINE SLUSHEES! Oh yes we did! Not in a million years did we ever plan on serving wine slushees in the midst of a pandemic, but hot damn they brought smiles! A close friend and vintner told us not to do it “it’s not on brand ya know”. Well, this year, anything goes and we are glad to have made a fun memory for a few hundreds guests. Next summer, we are already working on a new frozen recipe. 

August-September-October: Crushed by Harvest 2020 that never happened. Worried for our fellow farmers and vintners. Grateful that only smoke invaded the Anderson Valley and we remained wildfire-free here. The days were long and the nights were too short. More praise from the press (Thank you for voting us the Ten Best Tasting Rooms in the USA!), a beautiful Fall Wine Release that took too long to ship-out thanks to the extreme heat and wildfires. This year also brought an opportunity to support charities across the nation too. We donated at least 10% of our total revenue this year in wine to help raise funds primarily for women’s charities. More on this soon, because like Lord Sandwich says, “giving is fun”.  Oh and "The Sleeping Giant Across the Way" was our most read email and post on The Chapters all year long too. 

The months of November and December brought a sigh of relief for many politically, more lives lost in our dear circle of friends and my gosh the weirdest stay-at-home holiday season in our lifetime while holding-tight in hopes of the new vaccines. So what about the “Best of 2020” titled here? Frankly, the best of 2020 has been you and your support. The quality of Smith Story Wines has been the steady friend and attraction this whole 12 months too. Your enthusiasm both online and in-person kept us showing up, seriously we took less than 10 entire days off all year.  It has been the very best gift-giving season in the history of Smith Story! Thank you! 

Eric and I are ready to clear out the “shipping depot” now located inside the middle of the tasting room this week. We’re ending 2020 with another fun "Mystery Six” promotion. A 6-pack of mystery wine that we personal select for each order. $220 a 6-pack. Offering is limited to the first (20) Mystery Six orders with a deadline of tomorrow, Tuesday, December 29 at midnight. TO PURCHASE 

All orders will be shipped out this week unless you select Anderson Valley pick-up. Please note the tasting room is closed January 1-15. A "Raid the Cellar" Library offering goes live on January 17, details are being uploaded over the next few days on the website. 

Cheers to a safe and hopefully relaxing end of 2020. 

 - Ali & Eric

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