Burning Fierce

hey just a quick note to tell you how rad you and eric are. you guys fire me up. thanks for not simply existing, but burning fierce.eric and ali story

This came from a friend in the wine business over FB messenger last month. Humbled by his words and since then we've been discussing what "burning fierce" really means to us. 

Since our last post we've been to the East Coast and back twice to work with our wholesale partners, flew to Kona and back for a not-long-enough vacation, hosted a few hundred guests between our 2 tasting rooms, bottled 1100 cases of new 2017 Lord Sandwich Blanc, prepped our 2016 Pickberry Vineyard Cabernet and Merlot for the next bottling round, threw a mighty fine Smith Story Cellar Supper celebrating our 5th anniversary, worked countless hours of back-of-the-house minutia and are now in the final hours of closing our first traditional line of credit with a bank to help with our short term capital needs ...FINALLY! 

We're also days away from being able to hire a superstar to help us with our national sales and really tighten up our sales forecasts and goals. This is so very important to us now that we have our investor change finalized. For the first time in many months, we can sleep at night. The stress that came with 2017 has taken it's toll on us and we are done giving anymore energy to that. Turning the page...

This week in particular has been heavy with some family drama and from the news of two successful figures in America committing suicide. In the wee hours of Friday morning Ali was reading about Kate Spade and a punch in the gut came through the computer screen when the headline of Anthony Bourdain's death popped up. The finality of two hugely successful business figures has made us take inventory of how we are spending our time and how our own mental health is doing these days.

Finding balance with family and friends while keeping our shit together as a married couple while running a growing business is our biggest personal challenge. We could write for days about how much we enjoyed Anthony Bourdain and all his adventures. A true loss to our world of food, wine and for all humanity (Ali's tribute here). Kate Spade, well we weren't and aren't fashionistas but certainly admired her story and the story of her success along with her business partner husband. A tragic, horrible and preventable ending for both. Grief is wicked.  

Our inner and outward dialog about balancing life and all the stuff we need to hold things together has changed this week. Among the two of us and with our friends who are grinding through life as hard as we are ...we're talking about this. It's scary, dark hours come when you least expect, especially if sleep deprivation, lack of exercise and financial stress takes over your mind and body. So many of us who run family wineries and chef kitchens know men and women in our industry who've killed themselves.

It's time to step up taking care ourselves and especially recognizing when our over-achieving friends need to rest and renew their minds and bodies. A topic that will no longer be taboo to talk about. We must... the pace we're running in order to achieve greatness is fierce. We have one life to live, dear God we're not going to let the dark hours take us. 

It's 4pm on Sunday and our to-do list is to long and tedious to type here. In one hour, we're logging off, closing the tasting room and heading to catch the Mendocino Coast sunset. This is a new step for us in the work/life balance department. Spade and Bourdain did not simply exist, they both burned fierce...may they rest in peace and feel how massive their loss is to those left on earth who are living fierce. 

This is Our Story. 

Ali & Eric 

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