January 2, 2024
Last year at this time Eric, Sandwich and I were at Sea Ranch, right when Mother Nature let out her mighty winter screams. Stuck without electricity for a few days while watching trees fall from their roots, twisted along the hillsides & homes while listening to massive rain beat down sideways on windows. I was so mad, this was suppose to be a week of big planning and restoration.
Eric took Sandwich in the truck with him early on to check on the tasting room and stay back at home. He made it through a “white out” Hwy 1 coastal drive full of fog, rainy and wind. After a few days of hunkering down. I made it home safely during a tiny break on the horizon. I remember my intense, windy drive home along Hwy 1, heart pounding, white knuckling and also blaring Lauren Daigle from a playlist.
I was going to arrive back home safely and did so.
The strength of that storm, looking back now, set the stage for 2023, a messy one digging out after my cancer battle and covid hardships that hovered over the business, nothing was going to take me off track. Another year of unprecedented times in the wine business ahead, especially for us small guys.
2023: Mostly challenging due to horribly disappointing people along the way. But I along with really great people surrounding us cleared the path much like driving out of the storm in January. Strength & Faith. Never giving up.
Our small but mighty winery ended the year strong, revenues higher than any year before all with the weight of making up for loss of wholesale support during 2020. Our partners who’ve been in this crazy business for decades taught us so much, understanding, patience and also gave us real hope that change was inevitable but good change was ahead for us. Their encouragement gave us big energy.
Huge plans for Smith Story will begin rolling out in the coming weeks, I can’t hardly wait!!
Starting off this first week of the new year with getting some rest, a full heart, a focused mind and with gratitude that yet again, a big year is awaiting our very best yet again.
Eric and I watched a documentary last night about a guy who filmed his entire life of adventures then passed away before he was ready. It was heavy. He loved life, his people and squeezed every second out of his days on earth. I can’t stop thinking about it and the way he lived. He was an explorer, and deeply loved “turning over rocks”.
A week ahead for me of no emails, no meetings, no hosting. Plans of only putting away Christmas decor, organizing a garage now full of a lost loved one’s most precious belongings, going for a forest bath or two, clearing out an office desk piled high of a physical to-do list and filling our kitchen with nourishing meals. Taking some big breaths.
Time is flying these days. I promise myself to do my best at making each day matter, more exploring, more solid sleep, more chasing sunsets, more time in the vineyards, less time in airports, making more time with family & friends…oh and more smiles, “Fun Ali” is how I want to go out when it’s my time to leave this earth. Adulting is so very hard, but I thank my lucky stars above that I am still here and taking it all in. Smith Story Wine Cellars fills me up each and every day!
Now time for my morning coffee. A delicious single origin from Ethiopia awaits!!