The Most Important Two Months of Our Life

Here we are, two Smith Story harvests under our belt and now we head into the best two months of the year for wine sales, the months that hopefully pay our stack of harvest bills. The holiday season plays a love/hate role for just about anyone in the wines business. November and December can make or break a small winery. Couple this with working 50+ hour weeks on sales floors, in shipping departments, delivering wine, bittersweet time indeed. One day we'll spend real quality time with our families during the holidays... an important goal for us as we grow the winery. Eric's away at K&L Wine Merchants for at least 12 hours / 5 days a week while Ali's role as our General Manager, Accountant, Marketing, Shipping, Sales, Hospitality & Lord Sandwich caretaker is 24/7.

Sleep is tough right now, not because our thoughts are filled with worry - they're packed with thoughts of urgency - the end of year deadline looming to get it all done. Pretty darn exciting really, this is how the year has shaped up as we head into the last two months of 2015:
  • We bottled about 2000 cases of wine this year from the 2014 Harvest (oh and we've learned that bottling days are no fun, a meticulously stressful time)
  • March was our first release date of the Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon when the country was covered in snow and ice.
  • June marked the arrival of our German wines to the US - 3 months after our original forecasted arrival of our Rosé and Riesling...thank you port strikers. 
  • We began selling our wines via our incredible wholesale partners in Colorado, Texas, NorCal, SoCal, New York and New Jersey. (PA sorta). 
  • Near 250 new placements have been made in restaurants, wine bars and wine shops in less than 8 months, we've met with at least half of them. 
  • We've shipped over 200 orders direct from the winery so far this year (come on November and December!).
  • Taxes were filed, monthly compliance reports reported, blah blah...the admin part of the gig is soul-sucking, thankfully we have expert partners to help here.
  • Lawyering began, still ongoing since we moved our custom crush winery site this year...patiently waiting for the Feds to stamp some paperwork by Dec. 31. 
  • Harvest 2015, started early August and ended a few weeks ago, as of today we haven't yet barreled down our red Bordeaux varietals. 41 tons of grapes crushed in total, about 10 tons less than we forecasted.
  • We've hosted well over 50 folks, trade accounts and wholesalers for private tastings and/or meals with us. 4 days - might be a stretch as to how much we've seen our families - we love you! 
  • As of 5pm today, we have 679 cases of remaining wine inventory, eagerly awaiting to help spread some delicious Holiday Joy. 
And guess what the sweetest part of this crazy star-up time is? You love our wines! We love our wines! You've shared all sorts of kind words and positive reviews with thousands of folks about our wines...it's all happening! Since you are taking time to read this post, we sincerely thank you for being a part of Our Story and believing in Smith Story Wine Cellars. None of our success can happen without your loyal support. It's our greatest hope to always impress you with what's in the bottle...so far so fantastic! 

This is who we are, what we do...This is Our Story. 

 - Eric and Ali

Pickberry Vineyard, Sonoma Mountain, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot

1 comment

  • Lace and Mark

    Lace and Mark Austin Texas

    We are enjoying the wines we have purchased and look forward to sharing them with our friends this holiday season!

    We are enjoying the wines we have purchased and look forward to sharing them with our friends this holiday season!

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