How nothing has changed, but everything has changed.
It’s Tuesday April 11 and quite frankly, I’m having a sour day. We missed our 2023 Q1 goal by less than 10K, we lost out on a very promising international sale that would have allowed us to check things off the AP list and today marks week 3 waiting on a purchase order 224 cases going to a NorCal account. Over coffee this morning I read that Caymus ( I drank plenty of it back in the day) who makes more cases than they can count continues to grow by leaps and bounds in America. And nope, the tedious tasks of running a small business doesn’t stop when you have to switch hats for a few weeks have piled and piled and piled up. “Le Sigh”, I am grumpy.
Sunday afternoon I returned from the longest trip I’ve taken since pre-pandemic times. I spent a few days in the majestic rocky mountains with dear friends and Storytellers, then gorgeous days in the Texas Hill Country and the DFW Metroplex with our Texas Wholesale Partner - Serendipity Wines. Also spent some overdue quality time with my family in Fort Worth and N. Dallas that was full of laughs and deliciousness.
Decompressing after such trips takes me a few days. Running a winery is far from glamorous no matter where the travel. Seeing so many of you along the way was the very best thing in-between airline cancellations, broken fingernails, car rental shuttles, insomnia, mechanical plane issues, loud hotel neighbors, driving like a damn maniac to meet sales rep and buyers for days. ha. This way of promoting wines and selling hasn’t changed in the 3-tier channel whatsoever.
I do enjoy my time with the good folks who work so very hard in our industry and grateful to be surrounded by passionate wine pros. The tasting appointments where entire fine wine staffs gathered around to listen, taste and learn truly about Smith Story filled my heart. No doubt about it, Smith Story was built on love and one helluva lot of hard work and determination. We are still not in the win column though.
How does a small winery like Smith Story Wine Cellars stay on a wine list? Make it on the shelves for good in a local wine shop? How do we reach those fools who spend thousands on wines full of ego and not much real wine inside a bottle? Why aren't more guests visiting us in Healdsburg? It’s a mind game for sure when I return home after seeing so many labels out there and hearing about all the wineries consumers told me they are club members of when standing in front of them pouring our tiny production wines (while also trying not to think about my aching feet that are still in recovery mode from breast cancer treatment).
What’s next? Big purchases from big retailers have been green-lighted because bigger chapters are next for us. Staying steady with our family farmed vineyard to bottle premium Smith Story wines while we have the opportunity to grow a few of our wines like the Lord Sandwich and bring back our Eric Story Selections from Germany. Plus, we’re behind a new blockbuster label coming to your favorite retailer and restaurant group soon (paws crossed). It's going to take more funding, strategic partners and wild and steady vision that we've had for a decade. It's time.
How can you help with the small things that matter big to us?
- Google “Smith Story Wine Cellars” on your browser a few times a day to help our SEO game.
- Come see us in Healdsburg.
- Forward an email, hell write one yourself and link our website.
- Post a photo or 10 of enjoying Smith Story Wines on social media.
- Join The Storytellers.
- Write a review of your experience with us on Google, Yelp…our wines on ViVino or perhaps CellarTracker and Delectable.
- Tell you favorite writer, wine shop, country club, restaurant, wine bar about Smith Story Wine Cellars.
- Bring Smith Story wines to your next dinner party and/or gift it to your favorite client.
We’ve spent the last 9 years proving we know a thing or two about winemaking, now is the time! We sold out of nearly every drop of wine I poured at Central Market last week, a true testament to our quality and a whole bunch of loyal love from friends who made time to support us.
Perseverance and integrity has kept Smith Story on the fine wine map. What’s in the bottle is an example of what Eric and I set out to create nearly 10 years ago. Thankful for your diehard enthusiasm and cheering us on. I know we tell you this often, but we mean it. Every single bottle of Smith Story opened and enjoyed has allowed us to keep on keeping on. It’s a beautiful thing!
The community of Smith Story… YOU ARE SO RAD!
(Thank you Melanie, the Dallas Wine Chick for interviewing me last week too!)